Going without a pre-nup?

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chicagobear
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Going without a pre-nup?

Post by chicagobear » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:18 am

There is a chance that I, with a substantial level of assets (ie would never have to work again although I do), may marry a poor, younger woman and start a family with her. I have no previous children. Everyone says to get a pre-nup, but it seems to me that the fact that my assets would exist before any marriage, means that they would not be considered marital assets in a divorce as long as I keep them separate. I understand that the assets (or at least the income off them) would be taken into account for setting child support, but I am ok with that as, after all, they would be my children and I would want them to be supported. Am I reading this wrong, and would there in fact be a chance that a judge would strip me of a large part of my pre-existing investments in a divorce?

Levett
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Levett » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:31 am

It would be wise to get legal counsel rather than query folks on the internet.

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Ged
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Ged » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:32 am

It isn't that simple.

Suppose you buy a posh home on Maui after marriage. Obviously most of the cost of the home would be paid with your assets.

Depending on your particular state that home may become community property. So upon divorce you would lose half of the assets you used to pay for that home.

You may also find any debts incurred in marriage may effectively become yours after divorce.

Get a lawyer.

Texas hold em71
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Texas hold em71 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:34 am

Check your state law. Yes, there is an excellent chance. It is very difficult to keep separate assets untainted by marital assets. You will need a pre-nup to have a decent chance of doing it. Don't attempt to DIY on this one. If you have substantial assets and you are this interested in keeping them, pay for a lawyer.

When it comes to child support, marital assets versus separate assets are irrelevant. As you said, they will be your children and you will be expected to support them at a level consistent with all of your assets and income. There are usually state guidelines in place for this but your children are not party to your pre-nup and the court will look out for their best interests and not yours or your spouse.

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Raybo
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Raybo » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:45 am

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me you would have to maintain 2 separate financial entities: you after marriage and you before marriage. Money you move from "before" to "after" almost certainly becomes community property. It seems to me that it would extent to retirement accounts, as well. That is, you'd have to separate your current IRAs and such from those created after you are married. Commingling is the problem.

I wonder if creating a trust for your current (non-retirement) assets would be enough of a barrier to effect the same separation as a pre-nup.

Either way, you will have to consult a lawyer. A cheap investment, at this stage, anyway.
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linguini
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by linguini » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:48 am

I have to agree that if you want to know how assets will be divided if you get divorced, you need to consult a lawyer.

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Meaty
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Meaty » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:50 am

chicagobear wrote:There is a chance that I, with a substantial level of assets (ie would never have to work again although I do), may marry a poor, younger woman and start a family with her. I have no previous children. Everyone says to get a pre-nup, but it seems to me that the fact that my assets would exist before any marriage, means that they would not be considered marital assets in a divorce as long as I keep them separate. I understand that the assets (or at least the income off them) would be taken into account for setting child support, but I am ok with that as, after all, they would be my children and I would want them to be supported. Am I reading this wrong, and would there in fact be a chance that a judge would strip me of a large part of my pre-existing investments in a divorce?


Agree with the other advice to seek counsel. I highly suspect the above assumptions are incorrect. Further, why leave it up to the judge you happen to get? Why not guarantee the outcome should the unfortunate outcome of divorce arise
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awval999
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by awval999 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:54 am

You need a pre-nup. I just got one actually. $500. Mind you your level of assets may necessitate a more complicated and expensive one.

chicagobear
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by chicagobear » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:03 am

I understand consulting a lawyer, but this is mostly theoretical at this point. To make it simple, let's say that I owned $5 million in Microsoft stock and never sold it and contributed the dividends to the family accounts but kept the stock in my own name. I would think that the stock would not be a marital asset (but would factor into a determination of alimony and child support), although I am vaguely aware that in some states any appreciation in value during the marriage could be up for grabs, but think this is not the usual.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by chicagobear » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:11 am

Meaty wrote:
Agree with the other advice to seek counsel. I highly suspect the above assumptions are incorrect. Further, why leave it up to the judge you happen to get? Why not guarantee the outcome should the unfortunate outcome of divorce arise


Well, asking for a pre-nup from your beloved is not exactly without its own issues. I remember reading an interview with a divorce lawyer who said that getting a pre-nup becomes a self-fulfilling way to divorce since it shows a lack of trust. If there were prior children and you have material assets, I think a pre-nup is mandatory, but I am not sure about a first marriage even with a great difference in wealth going in, particularly if keeping assets separate would get you much of the same benefit.

stan1
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by stan1 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:18 am

Some friendly, "tough love" advice from an anonymous guy on the internet: There's a difference between being frugal and being foolishly cheap. Not wanting to pay for an attorney in this situation is being foolishly cheap and you are asking for trouble by making guesses. You need advice that is specific to your state of residence and financial position. Go see the attorney even if this is a theoretical situation. Get the facts before proceeding further. A message about a pre-nup may not be easy to convey to a future spouse, but it will come across better if its woven into the relationship from the beginning rather than being a surprise a month before the wedding.

Texas hold em71
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Texas hold em71 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:22 am

A high percentage of marriages end in divorce with or without a pre nup. A divorce lawyer clearly makes more money on people who did NOT have a prenup. Why? Because they pay a lot more money to lawyers fighting over their divorces. Take divorce advice from a divorce lawyer, not marriage advice from one.

I think you will find a pre nip conversation no more difficult than a conversation about keeping your assets separate. Lack of trust is happening in both scenarios.

You may want to follow the old advice given to women over the centuries- it is just as easy to fall in live with a rich woman as a poor woman.

I was lucky enough to marry a poor boy when I was a poor girl. But if I ever get married again, I would get a pre-nup.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Gnirk » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:25 am

I believe that your fiancé needs to be represented by her own attorney for a pre-nup to hold up in a divorce. But really, you do need to seek the advice of an attorney.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by linguini » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:26 am

stan1 wrote:Some friendly, "tough love" advice from an anonymous guy on the internet: There's a difference between being frugal and being foolishly cheap. Not wanting to pay for an attorney in this situation is being foolishly cheap and you are asking for trouble by making guesses. You need advice that is specific to your state of residence and financial position. Go see the attorney even if this is a theoretical situation. Get the facts before proceeding further. A message about a pre-nup may not be easy to convey to a future spouse, but it will come across better if its woven into the relationship from the beginning rather than being a surprise a month before the wedding.


This is exactly right. We cannot advise you on whether or not that property will be yours in a divorce. We're not your lawyer. We don't know. We can speculate, but we can't actually answer your question in a way that helps you make a decision about whether or not you need a pre-nup. A lawyer on the other hand will be familiar with state law and help you figure out exactly what your options are based on your situation and needs. If you don't want to have a pre-nup and want to explore some other way to structure your assets so that they're inaccessible to your spouse, that's all well and good. Go ask a lawyer about it. Trust me, you'll learn a lot more from an expert than you will from us speculating on an internet forum. :wink:

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HueyLD
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by HueyLD » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:59 am

chicagobear wrote:There is a chance that I, with a substantial level of assets (ie would never have to work again although I do), may marry a poor, younger woman and start a family with her.


Question - why would a young squeeze want to marry an old guy except for the money?

Everyone says to get a pre-nup

Start listening to "everyone." If you are not willing to share your substantial wealth with her, don't marry her and you can still have children with her.

You do need to see a lawyer before taking the plunge.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by dewey » Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:03 pm

Seems you need two things: a lawyer, and a pre-nup. Finances are going to be part of any marriage so there's no reason not to start off with an open an honest approach to how finances will be viewed. If the marriage is successful, at some point the pre-nup will simply be a moot source of amusement. If unsuccessful--you'll wish you had one.
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by stan1 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:06 pm

Whether to get a pre-nup or not is a very complicated decision that will require a lot of contemplation and soul searching.
Getting the facts specific to his situation so he can make an informed decision should be a much easier step to take.

There are a lot of reasons why people don't want to meet with an attorney: cost, dislike of complexity, fear of being taken for a ride, fear of bad advice, fear of hearing bad news (among many others). If I was in OP's situation I would want to talk to at least two attorneys so I understood my options, and I would want to do this early in the relationship. I would treat it like a routine physical exam and lab tests for cholesterol. Knowing the information up front gives you the insight/tools to better manage the situation later.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:40 pm

Which is the more cost-effective way? Pay 1% or less of your substantial assets to an attorney for reasonable,competent advice OR.....pay 50% or more to your soon to be ex-wife in a divorce settlement?

Your choice, but if keeping your substantial assets in your name is a priority, then you ought to know what the right decision is for you today.
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:59 pm

chicagobear wrote:
Meaty wrote:
Agree with the other advice to seek counsel. I highly suspect the above assumptions are incorrect. Further, why leave it up to the judge you happen to get? Why not guarantee the outcome should the unfortunate outcome of divorce arise


Well, asking for a pre-nup from your beloved is not exactly without its own issues. I remember reading an interview with a divorce lawyer who said that getting a pre-nup becomes a self-fulfilling way to divorce since it shows a lack of trust. If there were prior children and you have material assets, I think a pre-nup is mandatory, but I am not sure about a first marriage even with a great difference in wealth going in, particularly if keeping assets separate would get you much of the same benefit.


Listen, you asked a question, and most of the answers are leaning one way. If you don't like the consensus view, then carry on. I got divorced once; I wish that I had had a pre-nup. If your relationship can't withstand a conversation about a pre-nup, well, that's quite interesting and probably signals trouble down the road.

Old joke: There's a name that describes people who think as you do: litigant.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Dave76 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:05 pm

Things were simpler in the old days, when money always married money.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by DiscoBunny1979 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:09 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
chicagobear wrote:
Meaty wrote:
Agree with the other advice to seek counsel. I highly suspect the above assumptions are incorrect. Further, why leave it up to the judge you happen to get? Why not guarantee the outcome should the unfortunate outcome of divorce arise


Well, asking for a pre-nup from your beloved is not exactly without its own issues. I remember reading an interview with a divorce lawyer who said that getting a pre-nup becomes a self-fulfilling way to divorce since it shows a lack of trust. If there were prior children and you have material assets, I think a pre-nup is mandatory, but I am not sure about a first marriage even with a great difference in wealth going in, particularly if keeping assets separate would get you much of the same benefit.


Listen, you asked a question, and most of the answers are leaning one way. If you don't like the consensus view, then carry on. I got divorced once; I wish that I had had a pre-nup. If your relationship can't withstand a conversation about a pre-nup, well, that's quite interesting and probably signals trouble down the road.

Old joke: There's a name that describes people who think as you do: litigant.


-----------------

A pre nup is suppose to show your Intentions as to separate and community property. In divorce, it could be quite likely that the wife would claim that you 'intended' to share equally everything even if that conversation never happened. Therefore it would seem to be important to determine before marriage an open communication as to how assets are viewed. If she loves you for you, then getting $0 from your life prior to marriage shouldn't matter. I suggest that a pre nup can determine everyone's Intentions, not only about money, but about their honest feelings for each other. So contrary that a pre nup would show 'lack of trust' it actually would determine how trustworthy someone is or will be.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by mathwhiz » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:23 pm

Why get married at all? You avoid all this messiness. No reason you can't have kids without getting married, pretty much half the population does. You'll be expected to support your child regardless what happens in the relationship but you'll have no legal obligation to split half your assets. You may have to check on common law marriage and whether your state recognizes that. But yeah, if you are having these doubts, don't get married. There's very little benefit for someone in your situation where there is an extreme difference in assets.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by bengal22 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:28 pm

pre-nups always seemed like a negative way to start a marriage to me. if you are this negative about the permancy of your coupling I would not get married. i think both of you need to do this for life or not at all. just sayin...

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by ieee488 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:56 pm

bengal22 wrote:pre-nups always seemed like a negative way to start a marriage to me. if you are this negative about the permancy of your coupling I would not get married. i think both of you need to do this for life or not at all. just sayin...

You answered this way in another thread about a pre-nup.

And my question to you is again, do you refuse to buy auto insurance because you doubt your ability to avoid being in an automobile accident?
And, getting a will means you are negative about your living to a ripe old age?

To me, it is not doubting anything. It is about preventing something.
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by max12377 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:00 pm

I was in this circumstance but we broke up. I understand the romantic ideal is that both people love each other for life. In fact, I think everyone goes into a marriage with that intent. However, if you have taken a while to accumulate and she has nothing, the common sense thing to do would be to protect yourself.

If you feel she has rock-solid character and want to take the chance go for it. Usually you can tell a lot about a person based on their history.

My motto in relationships: Yes, things are great and you are special to each other. But there will come a time when you are not so fond of each other. How you treat each other through those times is telling.

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Index Fan
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Index Fan » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:13 pm

Believe it or not, being married often changes things. Cynical? Sure. Human nature? You bet.
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by linguini » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:34 pm

ieee488 wrote:
bengal22 wrote:pre-nups always seemed like a negative way to start a marriage to me. if you are this negative about the permancy of your coupling I would not get married. i think both of you need to do this for life or not at all. just sayin...

You answered this way in another thread about a pre-nup.

And my question to you is again, do you refuse to buy auto insurance because you doubt your ability to avoid being in an automobile accident?
And, getting a will means you are negative about your living to a ripe old age?

To me, it is not doubting anything. It is about preventing something.


I can't answer this for bengal22, but I think the desirability of a pre-nup depends a lot on your specific fears. From my current perspective, if I were faced with a divorce, the catastrophic loss for me is my wife, not a couple hundred grand. I don't want a pre-nup because I want to share my property with my wife and I'm not worried about the implication that I will have to continue sharing this property in the event of divorce. If I were older or spectacularly wealthy or going on a second marriage, perhaps I would be more cautious about my assets. If you want to prioritize keeping property separate in the case of divorce, then yes, you probably need a pre-nup, and this is a perfectly valid way to go into a marriage and one that a lot of people wish they had when the marriage ends. On the other hand, if you want to go into a marriage sharing all your property and creating a single common household (and presumably that is what bengal22 wants), then a pre-nup can hinder that by creating a legal separation of properties going into the marriage.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by YttriumNitrate » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:45 pm

Texas hold em71 wrote:A high percentage of marriages end in divorce with or without a pre nup.


It's true that a crazy high percentage of marriages end in divorce, but a good part of this has to do with people being able to marry and divorce numerous times. The stats on people over the age of 25 with 3+ month engagement periods where both parties are college educated tend to be a lot more encouraging.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by bengal22 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:09 pm

ieee488 wrote:
bengal22 wrote:pre-nups always seemed like a negative way to start a marriage to me. if you are this negative about the permancy of your coupling I would not get married. i think both of you need to do this for life or not at all. just sayin...

You answered this way in another thread about a pre-nup.

And my question to you is again, do you refuse to buy auto insurance because you doubt your ability to avoid being in an automobile accident?
And, getting a will means you are negative about your living to a ripe old age?

To me, it is not doubting anything. It is about preventing something.


shame on me but I did not take my journey into matrimony as similar to buying auto insurance or drafting a will. if I was so concerned about protecting my money over doubting my future wife's ethics or motivation I would not have gotten married. if that is to me our culture's philosophy toward wedded bliss perhaps we should offer 3 year wedding leases. i would never suggest a pre-nup and I would be offended if my future spouse wanted one.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by travellight » Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:21 pm

Talk of disparate assets and assumption that what was "his" before marriage is protected makes me think of Anna Nicole Smith. The billionaire died one year after their union. She sued for $200 million.

"Anna Nicole herself went to court after Marshall’s death in 1995, claiming he promised to leave her £200million, even though his will made no mention of her.
After she died from a drug overdose in 2007 aged 39, her lawyers argued that the money should go to Dannielynn, who was fathered by one of her lovers, Larry Birkhead, 37.
But a federal court later ruled that Marshall intended to leave his entire fortune to Pierce Marshall, his son by an earlier marriage."

A California judge in May of this year just overruled that ruling and decreed that Anna Nicole Smith's child with another man born after the death of the billionaire should get $49 million.

Of course, you're not a billionaire and she's not Anna Nicole Smith.... but the story illustrates some points.

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Watty
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Watty » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:12 pm

I would think that ....


Logic often does not mix well with the law and taxes.

Setting up a pre-nup does not mean that in a divorce that your ex would get zero since it can also be used in situations where she has a reason for divorce you for cause, or you want to divorce her when you find someone else, or if the marriage just does not work out.

She likely has concerns about what would happen to her if the marriage does not work out too. You might be concerned about losing half of your money and having to work but she would have to be concerned about being divorced ten years from now with very little money and likely having interrupted whatever career she currently has.

Providing here with a reasonable safety net could make it a win/win situation.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Twins Fan » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:47 pm

chicagobear wrote: I remember reading an interview with a divorce lawyer who said that getting a pre-nup becomes a self-fulfilling way to divorce since it shows a lack of trust.


I think you're already there, man.

You say there's "a chance" you could marry this girl at this point, and you're already wondering how things get divided when you get divorced, child support, alimony, etc...??? So, you're going into this... maybe... thinking it's going to fail??

My advice here.... Take the pretty young lady blinders off that you have on, and realize that you should not get married here.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by chrischris » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:54 pm

bengal22 wrote:pre-nups always seemed like a negative way to start a marriage to me. if you are this negative about the permancy of your coupling I would not get married. i think both of you need to do this for life or not at all. just sayin...


I agree. I personally think marriage is the second largest decision a person will make in their lifetime. If you are engineering a plan for failure, I would reconsider the decision all together.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Chitownlady » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:22 pm

chrischris wrote:
bengal22 wrote:pre-nups always seemed like a negative way to start a marriage to me. if you are this negative about the permancy of your coupling I would not get married. i think both of you need to do this for life or not at all. just sayin...


I agree. I personally think marriage is the second largest decision a person will make in their lifetime. If you are engineering a plan for failure, I would reconsider the decision all together.

If marriage is the second largest decision, what is the first??

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Index Fan » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:23 pm

People often make this incredibly important decision by saying 'it's true love!' and throw caution to the wind. A good amount of them regret this later, some of them bitterly so. Sounds like an un-Bogleheaded way to go about such an important decision if you ask me ;)
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linguini
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by linguini » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:39 pm

Chitownlady wrote:
chrischris wrote:
bengal22 wrote:pre-nups always seemed like a negative way to start a marriage to me. if you are this negative about the permancy of your coupling I would not get married. i think both of you need to do this for life or not at all. just sayin...


I agree. I personally think marriage is the second largest decision a person will make in their lifetime. If you are engineering a plan for failure, I would reconsider the decision all together.

If marriage is the second largest decision, what is the first??


I assume having a child. Marriages can be ended. Children, not so much.

Index Fan wrote:People often make this incredibly important decision by saying 'it's true love!' and throw caution to the wind. A good amount of them regret this later, some of them bitterly so. Sounds like an un-Bogleheaded way to go about such an important decision if you ask me ;)


Not true! We've created an IPS and decided that we have a high enough risk tolerance that foregoing a prenup and sharing our assets with a significant other is worth the risks.

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scubadiver
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by scubadiver » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:08 pm

Levett wrote:It would be wise to get legal counsel rather than query folks on the internet.

Lev


When you go to the barber seeking advice, don't be surprised when he says you need a haircut.

I don't think this is a legal question as much as it is a personal question. Without a pre-nup your premarital assets are at risk in the event of a divorce. How much does that bother you?

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by chrischris » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:18 pm

Chitownlady wrote:
chrischris wrote:
bengal22 wrote:pre-nups always seemed like a negative way to start a marriage to me. if you are this negative about the permancy of your coupling I would not get married. i think both of you need to do this for life or not at all. just sayin...


I agree. I personally think marriage is the second largest decision a person will make in their lifetime. If you are engineering a plan for failure, I would reconsider the decision all together.

If marriage is the second largest decision, what is the first??


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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by RenoJay » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:23 pm

I strongly advise you to get a pre-nup. Your assumption may be right or may be wrong, but a few things to consider:

1. You have to be very careful not to intermingle assets lest they become community property.
2. The conversation about a pre-nup is quite awkward when you first bring it up, but it serves to clarify both parties expectations which is a very important discussion to have.
3. Romantic bliss can and does fade, especially after children enter the picture. Instead of romantic weekends in Maui, you find yourself discussing parenting philosophies and who's turn it is to do the 3 am feeding.

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HomerJ
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by HomerJ » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:56 pm

chicagobear wrote:I remember reading an interview with a divorce lawyer who said that getting a pre-nup becomes a self-fulfilling way to divorce since it shows a lack of trust.


I think NOT signing a pre-nup shows a lack of trust. If you won't sign it, does that mean you think the marriage is doomed? Because if you assume the marriage will never end, you shouldn't have any problems signing a pre-nup.

To the OP... I'm guessing retirement assets are fairly safe (like in an IRA just in your name), but any taxable assets may be at risk, especially after 10-20 years of marriage, and most especially if your spouse doesn't work because the two of you are so rich, and triple especially if you have kids.

Consult a lawyer.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by dewey » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:22 pm

mathwhiz wrote:Why get married at all? You avoid all this messiness. No reason you can't have kids without getting married, pretty much half the population does. You'll be expected to support your child regardless what happens in the relationship but you'll have no legal obligation to split half your assets. You may have to check on common law marriage and whether your state recognizes that. But yeah, if you are having these doubts, don't get married. There's very little benefit for someone in your situation where there is an extreme difference in assets.


+1

This post reflects my perspective the most. Marriage has always been an economic and social institution (marriage for "love" enters the picture in the modern era). As Mathwhiz outlines, there is no reason to be married in the 21st century unless you have a religious reason. And that is an entirely separate conversation.
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Call_Me_Op » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:13 am

mathwhiz wrote:Why get married at all? You avoid all this messiness. No reason you can't have kids without getting married, pretty much half the population does.


I am assuming that chicagobear wants a wife and a family situation - not just to procreate and support his children from a distance. But based on the wording used in the OP, I would recommend that he do some serious soul searching. Extreme caution is warranted, IMHO. Before even contemplating marriage, I would want to feel madly in love, believe my partner felt the same, have open and honest communication as part of an already-established relationship, and a shared vision for the future. It is unclear that these prerequisites exist.
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Allan
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Allan » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:34 am

Chicagobear:

Been there, done that. How can I say this in a nice Boglehead kind of way: "you are nuts if you don't seek legal advice". Seriously, you do need a pre-nup. Once you are married you are free to give your new bride as much access as you want to your assets, but you never know what is going to happen in a marriage. Or what creditors your wife could be exposed to that might jeopardize your assets.

Allan

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:45 am

dewey wrote:
mathwhiz wrote:Why get married at all? You avoid all this messiness. No reason you can't have kids without getting married, pretty much half the population does. You'll be expected to support your child regardless what happens in the relationship but you'll have no legal obligation to split half your assets. You may have to check on common law marriage and whether your state recognizes that. But yeah, if you are having these doubts, don't get married. There's very little benefit for someone in your situation where there is an extreme difference in assets.


+1

This post reflects my perspective the most. Marriage has always been an economic and social institution (marriage for "love" enters the picture in the modern era). As Mathwhiz outlines, there is no reason to be married in the 21st century unless you have a religious reason. And that is an entirely separate conversation.


People get married for irrational reasons, such as being in love. They make other irrational decisions, such as not creating a pre-nup, for the same reasons. It's easy to be rational about someone else's decisions.

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Last edited by VictoriaF on Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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scubadiver
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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by scubadiver » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:10 am

Interesting discussion. Wondering how may of posters on this thread are themselves married with a pre-nup. EDIT: or divorced and wish they had a pre-nup.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by chicagobear » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:34 am

Allan wrote:Chicagobear:

Been there, done that. How can I say this in a nice Boglehead kind of way: "you are nuts if you don't seek legal advice". Seriously, you do need a pre-nup. Once you are married you are free to give your new bride as much access as you want to your assets, but you never know what is going to happen in a marriage. Or what creditors your wife could be exposed to that might jeopardize your assets.

Allan


Well, this is pretty theoretical since I don't have a fiancée, but whether you could have a pre-nup depends on who has the leverage in the negotiation. A younger, attractive woman who is willing to marry you and bear your children may be able to say no to a pre-nup and make it stick by being willing to walk away. I knew a woman who didn't want to sign a pre-nup but he wouldn't marry her otherwise, and she did sign it since he was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. They are still together years later with four kids. I would probably be willing to forgo a pre-nup with the right woman to get marriage and children, especially if keeping assets separate got you at least some of the benefit. My very social girl cousin (age 42) just married a 60 year old private equity guy with four kids and a reported net worth over $100 million, and she signed a pre-nup, as she should.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by hicabob » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:41 am

scubadiver wrote:Interesting discussion. Wondering how may of posters on this thread are themselves married with a pre-nup. EDIT: or divorced and wish they had a pre-nup.


Divorced w/out a pre-nup here. SInce many peoples first marriage are when neither party have any significant assets, which was my case, no point in a pre-nup - but if one has significant assets at the time of marriage, it would seem foolish not to have one.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by stoptothink » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:44 am

scubadiver wrote:Interesting discussion. Wondering how may of posters on this thread are themselves married with a pre-nup. EDIT: or divorced and wish they had a pre-nup.


Divorced, without a pre-nup. Getting remarried in January, with a pre-nup.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by Allan » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:46 am

chicagobear wrote:
Allan wrote:I would probably be willing to forgo a pre-nup with the right woman.


Yeah, I said that once too, in my 40's. I knew with all my being I had the right woman, turned out I didn't.

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Re: Going without a pre-nup?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:59 am

scubadiver wrote:Interesting discussion. Wondering how may of posters on this thread are themselves married with a pre-nup. EDIT: or divorced and wish they had a pre-nup.


Both. Married without a pre-nup, divorced, and the assets prior to marriage seemed to flow in one direction only in a sexist court system; remarried with a pre-nup. Every now and then getting older does make us wiser.

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