Divorce question for the Bogleheads

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UpstateNY86
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Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by UpstateNY86 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:02 am

Hey guys! Just found this site about 3 days ago and am in love with it! I love all the principles involved...
Anyways, I have a marriage coming up. I don't want to sound too harsh, but I am always trying to stay proactive and plan for worse case scenarieos...
My spouse and I have about the same income level(30k a piece)...not much, we are both entry level..
I have 7 k in my taxable account, and 8k in my nontaxable account...I know it isnt much,but its a start.
I am curious as to when we get married, IF we get divorced say under like 5 years. Does she get half of the money before the marriage that was in the accounts? Or just the investments and earnings DURING marriage?
Also, i was told that gifts during a marriage are seperation of property.. When I plan to buy my house, my dad will give me 12k, and so will my mom...Is this protected also? I am in NY. Thank You!

reggiesimpson
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Re: Question for the bogleheads

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:53 pm

Get a prenup.

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midareff
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Re: Question for the bogleheads

Post by midareff » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:57 pm

A little early to start dividing the left overs.............

chipperd
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Re: Question for the bogleheads

Post by chipperd » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:44 pm

Steven Covey says "Begin with the end in Mind", hence the "...til death do you part" stuff, aka the end.
If you are beginning with divorce as the end in mind, perhaps reconsider the start.

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Re: Question for the bogleheads

Post by livesoft » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:52 pm

Assume your spouse will get everything unless your pre-nup specifies otherwise.

For instance, check this out: http://www.bankrate.com/financing/retir ... t-account/

The best defense is a good offense ... or something like that.
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ddunca1944
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Re: Question for the bogleheads

Post by ddunca1944 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:04 pm

I am curious as to when we get married, IF we get divorced say under like 5 years. Does she get half of the money before the marriage that was in the accounts? Or just the investments and earnings DURING marriage?
In general, assets you have before you are married would not be divided during a divorce. But a lot depends on a number of things. If you keep the assets in your own name, do not add her name to the account, or add to the account with community funds, then you have a pretty good argument for keeping it in the event of a divorce.

If you inherit assets during a marriage, an inheritance is not generally community property = as long as you keep it separate.

But a lot depends on the laws of your state; whether it is a community property state, for example. You can get a pre-nup, but don't wait until the last minute to do so. If you do, she could argue that she signed it "under duress".

It may not be romantic, but when half of all marriages end in divorce, it is realistic to consider the possibility.

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Re: Question for the bogleheads

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:17 pm

ddunca1944 wrote:
I am curious as to when we get married, IF we get divorced say under like 5 years. Does she get half of the money before the marriage that was in the accounts? Or just the investments and earnings DURING marriage?
In general, assets you have before you are married would not be divided during a divorce. But a lot depends on a number of things. If you keep the assets in your own name, do not add her name to the account, or add to the account with community funds, then you have a pretty good argument for keeping it in the event of a divorce.

If you inherit assets during a marriage, an inheritance is not generally community property = as long as you keep it separate.

But a lot depends on the laws of your state; whether it is a community property state, for example. You can get a pre-nup, but don't wait until the last minute to do so. If you do, she could argue that she signed it "under duress".

It may not be romantic, but when half of all marriages end in divorce, it is realistic to consider the possibility.
Upstate NY86.......ddunc1944 gives sage advice. Do not sit on the prenup. While half the marriages end in divorce 75% of those divorces are brought by the wife. In other words you have no say in the matter. If you think that threat doesnt exist in the remaining marriages just take a look around. The prenup is designed to balance out the power between the spouses. This way your family has a greater chance at surviving and thriving........ thats the goal isnt it?

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Re: Question for the bogleheads

Post by zebrafish » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:19 pm

Since you both earn relatively the same salary and have relatively the same assets (one is not a millionaire and the other a pauper) I would not bother with a prenup. In your scenario, if you can't blend your lives together in every way, I wouldn't get married yet.

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Re: Question for the bogleheads

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:29 pm

zebrafish wrote:Since you both earn relatively the same salary and have relatively the same assets (one is not a millionaire and the other a pauper) I would not bother with a prenup. In your scenario, if you can't blend your lives together in every way, I wouldn't get married yet.
I must respectfully disagree. Without a solid prenup the husband doesnt have a leg to stand when the inevitable divorce and/or threats of divorce start warbling throughout the house. The marriage rate is at the lowest in U.S. history for a reason. Because divorce has destroyed so many lives. A solid prenup is one step to ensure the future welfare of the family unit.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by mmaguy » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:39 pm

Divorce rate is over 50%. The market gives better odds.

sscritic
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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by sscritic » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:41 pm

What is the law in NY? I could tell you the law in CA with regard to separate property vs community property, but it wouldn't do you any good.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by Default User BR » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:43 pm

I would read over Suze's thoughts on the matter.


Brian

Rodc
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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by Rodc » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:54 pm

In five years or hopefully later when you get divorced half of your current savings will look like chump change.

Better to put your efforts into understand how to build a good marriage; that would be a far better use of your time and energy.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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Re: Question for the bogleheads

Post by Steelersfan » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:58 pm

ddunca1944 wrote:
In general, assets you have before you are married would not be divided during a divorce. But a lot depends on a number of things. If you keep the assets in your own name, do not add her name to the account, or add to the account with community funds, then you have a pretty good argument for keeping it in the event of a divorce.

If you inherit assets during a marriage, an inheritance is not generally community property = as long as you keep it separate.
That's excellent advice in most, but probably not all, states. Divorce law is very state specific.

With your level of (equal) income and assets a pre-nup is overkill and could well spell trouble in your marriage before you even start.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by Index Fan » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:59 pm

I'd only get married if you're definitely having children. Otherwise it's not worth the risk if the person you think you know 'changes'. I've seen this happen multiple times, to the financial detriment of one side. The world has changed, and the institution has not. It's a real risk.
"Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis." | -Seneca

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:11 pm

I have been married for 45 years happily (not always) to the same woman. When i got married the divorce rate was around 15/20%. But more importantly it was downright shameful to even admit you were divorced so the thought of it simply didnt "compute" the way it does today. Out of wedlock birth was in a worse category. Yes i know i am "old fashioned" but the best way to raise children is with the full time presence of the mother and the father. Every study has shown this and i dont care what one considers to be the new norm. I am not even going there. I suggest a solid prenup (or else simply live together which was also rare earlier on) as a method of enhancing the probability of the future success of the family. If this isnt done well prior to marriage with ones eyes wide open and all the cards on the table the probability of another broken family will skyrocket. Good luck.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by tim1999 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:45 pm

Assets aside, without a prenup, you will likely get screwed in the event of a divorce by having to paying alimony IF your income should increase significantly compared to your spouse's, especially if you have kids.

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Re: Question for the bogleheads

Post by HomerJ » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:57 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:
zebrafish wrote:Since you both earn relatively the same salary and have relatively the same assets (one is not a millionaire and the other a pauper) I would not bother with a prenup. In your scenario, if you can't blend your lives together in every way, I wouldn't get married yet.
I must respectfully disagree. Without a solid prenup the husband doesnt have a leg to stand when the inevitable divorce and/or threats of divorce start warbling throughout the house. The marriage rate is at the lowest in U.S. history for a reason. Because divorce has destroyed so many lives. A solid prenup is one step to ensure the future welfare of the family unit.
What are you talking about? He barely has any assets to protect... Anything they make after they are married won't be covered by the pre-nup...

Note I DID sign a pre-nup because my wife had substantially more assets than I did when we got married... (As in I had a negative net worth, and she had 200k in assets).

I signed it gladly... Some of my friends said "Dude, if she wants a pre-nup she must think the marriage may not last". I replied "Dude, if I don't sign a pre-nup that means I must think the marriage won't last"

But in the OP's case, the numbers are low enough, it's not worth it to bring in the possible stress. My wife had already gone through a divorce, and had two kids to protect. Very different from the OP's situation.

Also note that college educated people who wait to get married have a decently low divorce rate... The 50% average number you hear thrown about is because of people who get married at 19 with only a high school education... Those people have like a 65% divorce rate.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by TRC » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:09 pm

Hope you don't share a comptuer with your Fiancé! This would be a bad post for her to see :confused

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by Novine » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:39 pm

As HomerJ noted, the 50 percent claim is mostly a myth. Unless you're young and relatively uneducated, the divorce rate is nowhere near 50 percent.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 24,00.html

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Re: Question for the bogleheads

Post by gerntz » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:48 pm

HomerJ wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
zebrafish wrote:Since you both earn relatively the same salary and have relatively the same assets (one is not a millionaire and the other a pauper) I would not bother with a prenup. In your scenario, if you can't blend your lives together in every way, I wouldn't get married yet.
I must respectfully disagree. Without a solid prenup the husband doesnt have a leg to stand when the inevitable divorce and/or threats of divorce start warbling throughout the house. The marriage rate is at the lowest in U.S. history for a reason. Because divorce has destroyed so many lives. A solid prenup is one step to ensure the future welfare of the family unit.
What are you talking about? He barely has any assets to protect... Anything they make after they are married won't be covered by the pre-nup...

Note I DID sign a pre-nup because my wife had substantially more assets than I did when we got married... (As in I had a negative net worth, and she had 200k in assets).

I signed it gladly... Some of my friends said "Dude, if she wants a pre-nup she must think the marriage may not last". I replied "Dude, if I don't sign a pre-nup that means I must think the marriage won't last"

But in the OP's case, the numbers are low enough, it's not worth it to bring in the possible stress. My wife had already gone through a divorce, and had two kids to protect. Very different from the OP's situation.

Also note that college educated people who wait to get married have a decently low divorce rate... The 50% average number you hear thrown about is because of people who get married at 19 with only a high school education... Those people have like a 65% divorce rate.
Homer, I'm with u & reggie on this. There just isn't enough to worry about today.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by CaliJim » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:18 am

Bill Rogers wrote:Marry a woman who won't divorce you. If she will divorce you, don't marry her.
-calijim- | | For more info, click this Wiki

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by Call_Me_Op » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:05 am

Have you brought-up the topic of a pre-nup to her? My personal experience is that the topic is not well received. Maybe there's a message buried in there - but not sure exactly what it is. Are they interested in your money or are they insulted that you would even think they would divorce you someday?

I am sure that most people, on the day they get married, are in love and have every intention of "til death do us part." But the reality is that people change, relationships change, and there is no shame in divorce these days. In fact, a middle-aged person who is divorced is seen as normal, and a never-married is deemed to have some major issues. So I do not wrong you for being concerned.

But you may want to see how she feels about it before proceeding too far. My understanding is that pre-nups must be signed well in advance of the wedding, and each party should have a separate attorney.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by FillorKill » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:24 am

You should not get married without a prenup just as you should not invest without an IPS.

Emotional input makes for bad decisions – apply that maxim to [just about] anything – relationships, investing, etc.

Prenups aren’t romantic just like index investing isn’t sexy but that doesn’t make them the wrong call; quite the opposite.

If you are contemplating marriage then your potential spouse should be willing to accommodate a contract (prenup) that protects each of your interests. If they will not do that prior to marriage [when things are good] how do you think things are going to go in dissolution?

Watch war of the roses. :greedy

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by Rodc » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:36 am

Come on guys, all this talk of a prenup to "protect" $7,500? Honestly?

Me thinks there is something like fear of marriage in general at work here for many posters and fear of this marriage for the OP, because this is not rational.

If you can't put a few thousand dollars at risk, you probably should not be getting married, because you are putting a whole lot more than a few dollars on the line when you get married.

Seriously, figure out your real issues, because protecting your savings is not the real issue, it is only how the issue is leaking out.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by Call_Me_Op » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:48 am

Rodc wrote: Me thinks there is something like fear of marriage in general at work here for many posters and fear of this marriage for the OP, because this is not rational.
Not fear of marriage, but fear of divorce. Unfortunately, a fear of the latter may result in a fear of the former - especially when you have seen friends or family financially ruined.

The dissolution of a marriage is treated like a dissolution of a business. Ignore this at your peril.
Last edited by Call_Me_Op on Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by FillorKill » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:48 am

Rodc wrote:Come on guys, all this talk of a prenup to "protect" $7,500? Honestly?
That blade cuts both ways - who would balk at signing an agreement with so little apparent value?
because you are putting a whole lot more than a few dollars on the line when you get married.
Right. If my two greatest satisfactions in life are my big portfolio and the person I love, why risk both in the same endeavor?

Losing one is bad enough - again, why risk both?

This is just risk management applied to life decisions. If I get taken to the cleaners and heart broken when I'm 58, what then?

That's a little late in the game to start over [at least financially].

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by Call_Me_Op » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:51 am

BBL wrote:
Rodc wrote:Come on guys, all this talk of a prenup to "protect" $7,500? Honestly?
That blade cuts both ways - who would balk at signing an agreement with so little apparent value?
because you are putting a whole lot more than a few dollars on the line when you get married.
Right. If my two greatest satisfactions in life are my big portfolio and the person I love, why risk both in the same endeavor?

Losing one is bad enough - again, why risk both?

This is just risk management applied to life decisions. If I get taken to the cleaners and heart broken when I'm 58, what then?

That's a little late in the game to start over [at least financially].
BBL,

Logically argued - I like.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:52 am

Think of a prenup as a condom. Not very romantic but better than alternatives.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by FillorKill » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:03 am

BBL,

Logically argued - I like.
I failed Logic 101 - but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night! :D
by VictoriaF » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:52 am

Think of a prenup as a condom. Not very romantic but better than alternatives.
Plastics make it possible. :wink:

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by truenorth418 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:13 am

You absolutely should get a pre-nup.

I looked into getting married in NYS a few years ago and it was quite eye-opening in terms of the potential financial pitfalls in marriage/divorce. Just because you do not have much money now does not mean you will not make a lot of money during the marriage. These assets would be at risk in the event of a divorce. Without a pre-nup, in most cases all assets accumulated during the marriage would be split in half upon divorce, although ultimately this decision would be up to a judge so it's possible you could lose more than 50% of the marriage assets. You could also be required to pay maintenance/alimony after the divorce, again the terms of which are ultimately at the discretion of a judge. Furthermore, my lawyer told me that pre-nups are usually respected in court but they have been overturned on various grounds (duress, etc) so make sure you get something rock solid and sign in well in advance of the wedding.

A lot of people get caught up in the trappings of getting married, but ultimately a marriage is a legal contract with significant financial implications. A pre-nup is nothing more than personalizing the terms of the default legal arrangement, and your pre-nup would reflect the specific terms that you and your wife agree on. If your wife doesn't respect your reasonable request to address the financial aspects of the marriage upfront then you should not marry her. Just going through the process of negotiating the terms was helpful for me as I saw a side of my fiancee that I did not like and I decided not to marry her.

Some rough figures. 50% of marriages end in divorce. 60% of first marriages end in divorce. 75% of divorces are initiated by the woman. Considering these odds, any prudent investor would want to take some insurance into the marriage to protect against a worst case scenario - Benjamin Graham's "margin of safety" and all that.

A couple of other things. This is not about you trying to cheat your wife out of something. She would also benefit from a pre-nup in the event she makes more money than you during the marriage. And remember that pre-nups can always be renegotiated later, even while you are married, so if circumstances change and you want to alter the terms there is nothing preventing you from doing that.

Good luck.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by truenorth418 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:24 am

Novine wrote:As HomerJ noted, the 50 percent claim is mostly a myth. Unless you're young and relatively uneducated, the divorce rate is nowhere near 50 percent.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 24,00.html

The article at the link does not debunk the statistic. It says: " '...but there may still be truth to it. Penn State sociologist Paul Amato, in a thorough new report on interpreting divorce data, writes that the half-of-all-marriages-end-badly figure still "appears to be reasonably accurate.' "

Also, bear in mind that as marriage rates decline and the average age of marriage increases, the pool of people getting married are on average more likely to take the institution more seriously for some reason (more religious, etc).

The point is that divorce is increasingly common and not the taboo it once was. The financial risks of divorce are obvious and one should take precautions.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by truenorth418 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:27 am

Rodc wrote:Come on guys, all this talk of a prenup to "protect" $7,500? Honestly?

Me thinks there is something like fear of marriage in general at work here for many posters and fear of this marriage for the OP, because this is not rational.

If you can't put a few thousand dollars at risk, you probably should not be getting married, because you are putting a whole lot more than a few dollars on the line when you get married.

Seriously, figure out your real issues, because protecting your savings is not the real issue, it is only how the issue is leaking out.

Generally pre-nups are used to address income and assets obtained DURING the marriage. The OP seems like a prudent, thoughtful guy who could accumulate substantial assets in the future. It is not just about the money he has now.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by Calm Man » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:30 am

Colleagues:
I think those that are protesting that there are too few assets for the original poster to protect now are, of course, right as there are few. However, many or most marriages start with little assets. The objectives of the prenup are many. The main one as I see it is to avoid expensive and emotionally costly litigation should a divorce occur. Even failed marriages generally last a reasonable period of time and sometimes 20 or even 30 years. A good prenup will contain clauses about asset division, children should they come and how to support them, etc. I got divorced after about 10 years of marriage with 2 children. We had little when we started. We had a lot more when we divorced. We did not have a prenup. The lawyers made out much better than if there had been a prenup. And certainly the emotional cost of the divorce was high enough but throw in litigation and it gets a lot worse. So I would strongly recommend a prenup as a way of saying that you love each other but know that sometimes things change and you do not want to go to hating each other should a divorce occur.

One more thing. As to the comments by some that the divorce rate is low among college grads--it might be lower than 19 year olds marrying but it still is quite high.

Good luck to OP in whatever you decide.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by HomerJ » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:32 am

But a prenup in this case does NOT protect the OP from financial ruin. If he had $300k, then maybe it would be prudent, but he doesn't have enough money to inject that stress into the relationship.

So it's pointless...

And man, you guys are a bunch of cynics. Marriage is a wonderful thing for many reasons... But if you just want to stick to the financial aspect of it... Two incomes, shared expenses, is better than one income ... Sure, if my wife and I get divorced I'll lose half my stuff... But I currently have twice as much as I would have had if I had been single all this time. So I'll be no worse off financially... And if we stay together, I'll be retiring early.

The trick is to really TALK to your potential spouse about divorce, and how horrible it is, and how it's important to work on a marriage and gauge their reactions... My wife was divorced before me, and when we were dating, we talked about how horrible divorce is and how important it is to talk to each other, and we made firm commitments to each other that we would always work on our marriage. We've been married 14 years, and yeah, we've hit a few rough patches, but we always worked through them... Divorce is not an option in our minds...

She married her first husband young, and they never talked about this stuff.. When you're young and in love, you just assume the other person feels the same as you... (Plus you change a lot more from 20 to 30 than 30 to 40 maybe).

She was very careful before she got married again. Her ex, on the other hand, has been married and divorced two more times in the last 15 years..
Last edited by HomerJ on Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by HomerJ » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:34 am

Calm Man wrote:Colleagues:
I think those that are protesting that there are too few assets for the original poster to protect now are, of course, right as there are few. However, many or most marriages start with little assets. The objectives of the prenup are many. The main one as I see it is to avoid expensive and emotionally costly litigation should a divorce occur. Even failed marriages generally last a reasonable period of time and sometimes 20 or even 30 years. A good prenup will contain clauses about asset division, children should they come and how to support them, etc. I got divorced after about 10 years of marriage with 2 children. We had little when we started. We had a lot more when we divorced. We did not have a prenup. The lawyers made out much better than if there had been a prenup. And certainly the emotional cost of the divorce was high enough but throw in litigation and it gets a lot worse. So I would strongly recommend a prenup as a way of saying that you love each other but know that sometimes things change and you do not want to go to hating each other should a divorce occur.

One more thing. As to the comments by some that the divorce rate is low among college grads--it might be lower than 19 year olds marrying but it still is quite high.

Good luck to OP in whatever you decide.
My understanding is a prenup doesn't protect you from lawyers and dividing up the assets you both made after you got married. It can always be contested. And it only protects assets you had BEFORE the marriage. And there's no way you're going to have a viable child support agreement in a pre-nup made 10 years before the children were even born.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:39 am

HomerJ wrote:And man, you guys are a bunch of cynics.
When you are getting married you should talk to cynics. When you are getting divorced you should talk to romantics. It's healthier this way.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by FillorKill » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:42 am

you guys are a bunch of cynics. Marriage is a wonderful thing for many reasons
...Said the happily married man that signed a prenup.

We're all biased and bringing different experiences to the table.

One sided conversations get boring in a hurry. :happy

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Re: Question for the bogleheads

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:49 am

reggiesimpson wrote:
zebrafish wrote:Since you both earn relatively the same salary and have relatively the same assets (one is not a millionaire and the other a pauper) I would not bother with a prenup. In your scenario, if you can't blend your lives together in every way, I wouldn't get married yet.
I must respectfully disagree. Without a solid prenup the husband doesnt have a leg to stand when the inevitable divorce and/or threats of divorce start warbling throughout the house. The marriage rate is at the lowest in U.S. history for a reason. Because divorce has destroyed so many lives. A solid prenup is one step to ensure the future welfare of the family unit.
Prenup or no prenup, it will not matter if the OP has kids with the wife. Then the OP will be "buried" by the courts. My suggestion to OP - if you are feeling this way now, to revisit just why you think marriage is the key to happiness? These are things you should have thought about, discussed with your intended long before you even popped the question. I can only think of what she must be feeling if you are starting to feel like this now - jittery feet?
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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:54 am

HomerJ wrote:But a prenup in this case does NOT protect the OP from financial ruin. If he had $300k, then maybe it would be prudent, but he doesn't have enough money to inject that stress into the relationship.

So it's pointless...

And man, you guys are a bunch of cynics.

She was very careful before she got married again. Her ex, on the other hand, has been married and divorced two more times in the last 15 years..
Who's the cynical one? Remember Homer, there are two people in a relationship and you never know what happens behind closed doors. There may be smoke, but that doesn't always lead to fire and destruction - you know the saying, it takes two to tango.
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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:58 am

BBL wrote:You should not get married without a prenup just as you should not invest without an IPS.

Emotional input makes for bad decisions – apply that maxim to [just about] anything – relationships, investing, etc.

Prenups aren’t romantic just like index investing isn’t sexy but that doesn’t make them the wrong call; quite the opposite.

If you are contemplating marriage then your potential spouse should be willing to accommodate a contract (prenup) that protects each of your interests. If they will not do that prior to marriage [when things are good] how do you think things are going to go in dissolution?

Watch war of the roses. :greedy
Can't wait for the next publication to come out - "The Bogleheads Guide to a Successful Marriage" - as told by forum members with combined experience totaling thousands of years.
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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by staythecourse » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:59 am

I have nothing to add about the original question, but just want to stress that who you marry is the NO. 1 biggest reason for failure or success to any person's financial health. So when you choose you mate be smart and consider if the other person has the same vision of your financial future.

Good luck.
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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:00 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Can't wait for the next publication to come out - "The Bogleheads Guide to a Financially Successful Marriage" - as told by forum members with combined experience totaling thousands of years.
There is a bit more to the marriage. Don't you think?

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:08 am

sscritic wrote:What is the law in NY? I could tell you the law in CA with regard to separate property vs community property, but it wouldn't do you any good.
NY is not a community property state - what you come into the marriage with will remain yours as long as 1)you don't commingle the assets - meaning you don't take your $7K taxable account and add the new Mrs. to the title as a joint owner or tenant in common. It's okay to select her as beneficiary, she holds no legal title to the assets unless you pass on. 2) Leave any and all assets before the marriage separate. Open new joint accounts following the marriage and place "all" inflows and outflows from earnings through this account. Save all account statements, no matter how old - if you get divorced, you have to prove where the assets originated from or everything might be "game". 3)If you have children with spouse - game over, you will work for ex-wife and kids until they graduate college and potentially till the wife hits the age of Social Security eligibility (age 65) - this happened to two relatives of mine (both men and recently), I know what I'm talking about here. I'm not kidding, the courts of NY are not favorable to men at all. The only way you can come out ahead in this is if wife is primary breadwinner, then you may be able to escape without having to turn over 50% of your earnings - but assets will still be divvied at least 50% to each party, if not more depending on agreed upon settlement.

OP is fortunate - new spouse and him are starting out with relatively the same salary and probably asset base. Key to successful financial relationship is to understand each parties thoughts and actual behaviors when it comes to handling money. If OP sees the potential mrs. is a spendaholic and is not comfortable, now is the time to get out of Dodge. And don't think they will change, they will not.
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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:11 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Can't wait for the next publication to come out - "The Bogleheads Guide to a Financially Successful Marriage" - as told by forum members with combined experience totaling thousands of years.
There is a bit more to the marriage. Don't you think?

Victoria
Yes - but as an old tv commercial in NY used to say "The road to riches....starts at the Dime". ;-)

Most divorces are initiated over incompatibility with money. Oh sure, they state other reasons, but a fair amount of the disagreements relate to the finances.
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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:36 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Can't wait for the next publication to come out - "The Bogleheads Guide to a Financially Successful Marriage" - as told by forum members with combined experience totaling thousands of years.
There is a bit more to the marriage. Don't you think?

Victoria
Yes - but as an old tv commercial in NY used to say "The road to riches....starts at the Dime". ;-)

Most divorces are initiated over incompatibility with money. Oh sure, they state other reasons, but a fair amount of the disagreements relate to the finances.
In a different thread BBL cited Anna Karenina. The novel stars with “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Each divorce is "in its own way."

Victoria
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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by sscritic » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:41 am

UpstateNY86 wrote: I am curious as to when we get married, IF we get divorced say under like 5 years. Does she get half of the money before the marriage that was in the accounts? Or just the investments and earnings DURING marriage?
Also, i was told that gifts during a marriage are seperation of property.. When I plan to buy my house, my dad will give me 12k, and so will my mom...Is this protected also? I am in NY. Thank You!
Not from NY.
1) No, Yes
2) Yes, but only if you don't buy the house in joint names. This one gets tricky. In CA, if you keep really good records, even if you comingle the money, if you can trace the source, the courts might still consider it separate. Since you are planning on being married less than 5 years, the record keeping shouldn't be too hard.

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by 2stepsbehind » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:54 am

BBL wrote:
Rodc wrote:Come on guys, all this talk of a prenup to "protect" $7,500? Honestly?
That blade cuts both ways - who would balk at signing an agreement with so little apparent value?


Histrionics aside, you are essentially encouraging OP to spend close to if not more than half of his savings ($1200-2000 for attorneys on each side) to protect against the mere possibility of losing half of his savings. This does not seem to be a wise use of his resources.

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Re: Question for the bogleheads

Post by 2stepsbehind » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:57 am

reggiesimpson wrote: Do not sit on the prenup. While half the marriages end in divorce 75% of those divorces are brought by the wife.
How many of these involve a cheating husband?

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Re: Divorce question for the Bogleheads

Post by reggiesimpson » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:59 am

To the OP. When a man marries a woman he hands over a huge amount of his power. She controls his sexuality, she will get the children in a divorce, money and of paramount importance she has the legal justice system on her side (read "government") to back her up. In the throes of the romantic state prior to marriage the man "forgets" these simple realities. Living together is far safer (ask the Swedes) but in this culture the next best step is a prenup written up by a knowledgeable atty. The reason for it is to balance out the power making her divorcing him as painful as him divorcing her (or as close as possible). The principle of mutual self destruction comes to mind from the Cold War. Marriage and raising children places stresses on folks that you cannot imagine in the early stages of your relationship. It therefor behooves both of you to take a more responsible approach early on for the future stability and welfare of your children and your family as a whole. Stop looking at her as your romantic liaison and hoping that it all works out. It wont. Frankly.......... just grow a pair and stop a future disaster from taking place.

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