Any benefit to a prenup for us?

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ryuns
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Re: Any benefit to a prenup for us?

Post by ryuns »

Ok, I keep thinking about it and realize I may be getting in over my head. I'm leaning farther towards "yes", if only to back up what we think would be the likely outcome in our current state, to reduce ambiguity and provide some flexibility in moving. Might have to buy a Nolo book and do some reading. Thanks again everyone.
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mptfan
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Re: Any benefit to a prenup for us?

Post by mptfan »

ryuns wrote:
mptfan wrote:
ryuns wrote:My other point is that I can't really conceptualize of an outcome where a divorce would end up with something that did seem truly unfair, since our incomes and net worths are not that dissimilar.
I can. Let's say 6 months after you get married, your spouse decides to stop working, against your wishes, and earns no income from that point forward. You are against the decision, but you support your spouse and stick by him or her. 12 years later, your spouse files for divorce, again, against your wishes (perhaps he or she found someone else), and the judge rules that your spouse is entitled to alimony for the rest of his or her life because you supported him or her for the last 12 years in a lifestyle to which he or she has now become accustomed. In the absence of a prenup waiving alimony, that may be the outcome, whether or not you think it's fair.
Thanks for the example. That does make sense. But how do you write that in a contract, aside from just waiving alimony?
You speak to a lawyer that specializes in these matters. I can assure you it is a common part of prenuptual agreements.
steve_14
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Re: Any benefit to a prenup for us?

Post by steve_14 »

I'd just point out that many couples I know have indeed parted ways amicably. While a prenup may be a good idea, it simply isn't true that all divorces are nightmares.

Sure, your spouse may run off with his secretary, destroying you emotionally and making you determined to ruin him financially. However, you might just decide to part ways as friends after the kids are grown, and split your assets in a way you negotiate in a reasonable manner.
mptfan
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Re: Any benefit to a prenup for us?

Post by mptfan »

ryuns wrote:
mptfan wrote:
ryuns wrote:My other point is that I can't really conceptualize of an outcome where a divorce would end up with something that did seem truly unfair, since our incomes and net worths are not that dissimilar.
I can. Let's say 6 months after you get married, your spouse decides to stop working, against your wishes, and earns no income from that point forward. You are against the decision, but you support your spouse and stick by him or her. 12 years later, your spouse files for divorce, again, against your wishes (perhaps he or she found someone else), and the judge rules that your spouse is entitled to alimony for the rest of his or her life because you supported him or her for the last 12 years in a lifestyle to which he or she has now become accustomed. In the absence of a prenup waiving alimony, that may be the outcome, whether or not you think it's fair.
Thanks for the example. That does make sense. But how do you write that in a contract, aside from just waiving alimony? I mean, it seems like there are a lot of situations where alimony is justified, like if she took time off for kids. Or someone went back to school. Or someone tried to work independently and made less money. While I understand this creates a disincentive for the unfortunate situation you outline, it also seems like it would massively limit flexibility.
A prenuptual agreement does not limit your flexibility to agree to do more at the time of a divorce, it simply limits your spouse's flexibility to force you to do more. For example, even if both parties waive their right to alimony, and your wife stayed home to raised the kids, there is nothing stopping you at the time of a divorce to voluntarily agree to pay her alimony, if you thought that was fair.
RenoJay
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Re: Any benefit to a prenup for us?

Post by RenoJay »

A lot of people are saying it's too late, but I'd suggest getting a POST-nup after the wedding. Sounds like you and your betrothen are basically on the same page for now, so a post-nup should be non controversial and probably more enforceable in court than a pre-nup since neither one is holding the wedding as a hostage. I think they're important because circumstances change. People's personalities change, particularly post-children. Interests diverge. Conceptions of "fairness" change. People get unexpected inheritances. I think it's important to lay out what you guys are both thinking and agreeing close, or soon after the wedding. You can always adjust over time.
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simplesimon
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Re: Any benefit to a prenup for us?

Post by simplesimon »

Not to hijack the thread, but to the lawyers and statisticians: are couples more likely to get divorced when a pre-nup has been signed?
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HomerJ
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Re: Any benefit to a prenup for us?

Post by HomerJ »

simplesimon wrote:Not to hijack the thread, but to the lawyers and statisticians: are couples more likely to get divorced when a pre-nup has been signed?
It would interesting to know this, but it would be hard to definitely determine causation instead of correlation... More people get pre-nups when they've already been divorced and have children... Are divorcees more likely to get divorced than first-timers? Maybe that's the cause rather than pre-nups.

People are more likely to get pre-nups when there are large differences in assets... But that could signal two people who don't share the same financial goals (a saver and a spender), and maybe THAT's the reason the marriage fails.

I'd bet LESS people get divorced who get pre-nups because they've thought out the possibility of divorce and have had serious conversations about what marriage means (unlike the 20-year olds who get married after dating 6 months), but I can't prove it.

I know my wife and I talked beyond the fairy-tale romance stage to be sure we were on the same page about marriage and working through problems, not jumping to divorce as an easy option. That conversation also entailed us getting a pre-nup, to protect her children... I think we're far less likely to get divorced than the average couple.
steve_14
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Re: Any benefit to a prenup for us?

Post by steve_14 »

HomerJ wrote:People are more likely to get pre-nups when there are large differences in assets
Or income or future earnings...I think it also depends on what the lower earning spouse can negotiate. And that comes down to how desirable s/he is to the opposite sex. If you're a gourmet chef-hottie with a choice of spouses, you're holding all the prenup cards.
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HomerJ
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Re: Any benefit to a prenup for us?

Post by HomerJ »

steve_14 wrote:
HomerJ wrote:People are more likely to get pre-nups when there are large differences in assets
Or income or future earnings...I think it also depends on what the lower earning spouse can negotiate. And that comes down to how desirable s/he is to the opposite sex. If you're a gourmet chef-hottie with a choice of spouses, you're holding all the prenup cards.
Pretty hard to shelter income and future earnings from a spouse. That SHOULD be shared 50/50 since it is earned while the marriage is on-going.

I guess if you're talking movie-star millions, then pre-nups where the spouse "only" gets $40,000 a month can work.
EnjoyIt
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Re: Any benefit to a prenup for us?

Post by EnjoyIt »

HomerJ wrote:
steve_14 wrote:
HomerJ wrote:People are more likely to get pre-nups when there are large differences in assets
Or income or future earnings...I think it also depends on what the lower earning spouse can negotiate. And that comes down to how desirable s/he is to the opposite sex. If you're a gourmet chef-hottie with a choice of spouses, you're holding all the prenup cards.
Pretty hard to shelter income and future earnings from a spouse. That SHOULD be shared 50/50 since it is earned while the marriage is on-going.

I guess if you're talking movie-star millions, then pre-nups where the spouse "only" gets $40,000 a month can work.
Completely disagree. One person decides to work hard, go to school for many years, work hard at work to get promotions denying themselves in their younger years of life, while the other enjoys the fruits of your labor without putting in that hard work to then divorce you. Splitting it up 50/50 is ridiculous.
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