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New Beginnings :
Prenupt

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 foreverlabeled (original poster member #52070) posted at 11:24 PM on Sunday, October 31st, 2021

I've been dating someone for over a year now. We are getting quite serious hence my title. We plan on getting married soon as a matter of fact. I could go on and on how compatible and perfect he is. Its never been this easy.

He mentioned a prenuptial agreement and honestly it hurt my feelings and I took it quite personal. I don't know why. I guess it made me feel untrustworthy or that it was setting us up for failure. I always thought that was something for the super wealthy anyway. Lol.

We are both going into this with our own property, mine a ~600k home, him a ~40 acre farm. He makes more money than me but I have more saved. We bought a home together and he dropped a considerably more amount than me on it. I know it makes sense on some level but I guess I'm traditional in that two become one and all that. Like whats mine is his and what his is mine.

I don't mean to be so sensitive about this. But it hit me hard. I thought I'd come here for some sense as I always do.

He is of course very reassuring about my feelings and has done a great a job explaining where he is coming from. He said that when I divorced I lost everything, but thats my fault because I didn’t want to fight for a thing, cut my losses and ran. He lost half of everything plus incurred her debt (way in the past and over). Said we aren't 20 something starting with nothing.

But still I would gladly combine my assets to his like I imagine a marriage should be. Again, I'm sure its silly of me to be hesitant of a prenup and should be thankful he's thinking of both our interests.

Can you help me suss it out?

33 divorced Madhatter
Time is no ones friend, nor their enemy. It moves forward at its own fixed pace, careless of our wants to speed it or slow it.

posts: 2535   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8696032
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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 2:50 AM on Monday, November 1st, 2021

Just my opinion, which you should take with a grain of salt because I’m a failure at marriage:

I think you should do a traditional balance column and figure out if the great things about your fiancé and relationship are outweighed by your obviously differing views on the "two become one" concept of marriage.

I personally am not saying it is or isn’t a negative that outweighs the good. That is entirely your decision, and either one is totally valid. But it is a thing, and it’s something that needs resolved, if only in your own mind, before you sign on the dotted line. I personally would be worried if the person I intended to marry felt that he had to protect himself from me beforehand, but at the same time I understand the reality of modern relationships.

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

posts: 6327   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2010   ·   location: USA
id 8696050
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 3:39 AM on Monday, November 1st, 2021

So if I understand it correctly, what you bring in to the marriage is yours regardless of R or D in the future. What becomes joint property is what you acquire during your M. So your existing retirement is "safe". That said, I think you need to have a nice long conversation. Is it that he wants to be sure the farm stays in the family? Has he been hurt in the past and is now shy of being financially vulnerable? (I am someone who hates to be financially vulnerable— it is hard to imagine I will ever endanger my retirement savings for anyone. )

When you bought the house together, did you discuss your finances? That’s a giant investment and you have unequal income, so hopefully you sat down and talked it out: Who pays the taxes and insurance and water bill and roof repair and all that stuff.

I think this is WONDERFUL opportunity to sit down and be open. Finances cause so much trouble in marriages, and if you can hash this out it will bode well for your future. If you don’t, then there is a risk or suspicions or resentment or other time bombs that may be introduced.

(And congrats on the relationship- glad it’s going so well).

Also, screw tradition. Those traditions were created in a different time with different laws and when there were things like pensions and penalties for cheating and all that. Modern times, do what works for you two.

Me: BS 54 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA
Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 4273   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 4:15 AM on Monday, November 1st, 2021

Do you feel like this is triggering your sense of being, well, "forever labeled?" You've done the work to be totally authentic with this person, and it would be natural to feel hurt that your complete trust of him doesn't appear 100% reciprocated.

That being said, I think this request is very likely to be about his ex and his own history. I've read so many posts by BS who swear they're never going to put themselves in a vulnerable situation again. I can understand if he's honoring you with his heart and himself with that internal promise.

The fact that he's evaluating this rationally is a good sign, IMO. It proves his attraction to you is not limerence or fog. He's thinking completely clearly and knows that he loves and wants only you. He's organizing his life to make that happen.

WW/BW 50s (Me)
BH/WH 50s (TimeSpiral)

posts: 2136   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8696063
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EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 2:28 PM on Monday, November 1st, 2021

I don't think him opening up a discussion for a pre-nup has anything to do with you being untrustworthy or setting you up for failure.

Many of us have been through a situation that was not fair. He is just making sure you BOTH protected. Some comic does a skit about getting to old to have to keep restarting cause you lost half (or more of your stuff).

If my SO (5 yr R) wanted to do this, I would. It has nothing to do with my trust for him or my faith in our R lasting. Do either of you have children? That would factor into my decision as well.

Whatever you decide, I think this is a great opportunity to have some very important discussions before you officially M.

posts: 6685   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2009   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8696101
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:10 PM on Monday, November 1st, 2021

If my SO (5 yr R) wanted to do this, I would. It has nothing to do with my trust for him or my faith in our R lasting. Do either of you have children? That would factor into my decision as well.

Prenups in general, shouldn't be enforcing anything outside of the standard by law. What you each bring into a marriage remains yours. What assets acquired after the marriage are split 50/50. They are used to predefine what those values are. Does it help to look at it like that? Have your attorney vet the prenup to ensure it is balanced and you receive as much protection as he does. In the end any prenup should be a negotiation. Not just delivered fait accompli by one party.
You already both have significant assets that should be going towards any existing children. With children from previous marriages prenups, wills, and estate planning becomes much more of an issue. Children from the new union, if any, is another complication. One of you will pass before the other. The other may remarry. This requires more advanced planning than if this had been your first and only marriage. There is a balance between ensuring that the surviving spouse has enough to live on and that the children of the spouse who passed receive their inheritance. As BearlyBreathing mentioned a prenup should be just part of this discussion. If he excludes the farm as part of the prenup or you your house and savings, how do you ensure that marital funds are not used to maintain them. Just saying that they come out of the responsible parties pay isn't exactly kosher as that reduces the marital income in a way that may be unbalanced.

posts: 830   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
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Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 3:37 PM on Monday, November 1st, 2021

I have a close family member who lost her single parent mom at the age of 14. I became her quasi- legal guardian. Her dad was theoretically her legal guardian but a) he didn’t really participate in her life and b) he had the sense of realizing I had her best interest in mind. Part of that was to manage the life insurance she got from her mom’s policy.

When she turned 20 the inheritance covered 80% of the house she bought. That’s not sloppy for a 20 year old – a degree with no loans and a near-paid for house.
Three years later she married her present husband. Someone I totally approve of. I did however get her to do a prenup simply because the minute she signed the marriage license he was legally entitled to half the house. Half her mom’s inheritance. I had the sense of having an attorney read it over and he made significant changes to make it "fair" and legal.
Basically she owns the house and will for the first 10 years of the marriage. After that he get’s 10% per year until they reach half, when this part of the prenup is no longer valid. If they divorce she gets to decide if she wants the family home or if it’s sold. What this did was offer her some protection if this marriage didn’t last (going on its ninth year!). At the same time its fair to the man since a) he’s able to save more money since the payments off 20% isn’t that high and b) he does get his equal share eventually.

Now – the bad thing about prenups is that they represent an escape clause from something that you enter with the hope if it lasting. However reality is what reality is…

I would consider a prenup along some comparable lines as acceptable.
Maybe a prenup where his farm and your property are listed as separate properties for the next 10 years? Maybe even only that the relevant person get’s first choice IF this doesn’t last or that they are separate properties in inheritance estates? Maybe even have them valued and that amount (along with maybe an index to calculate future worth) is separate property for a certain period?

For example: Say you decide to keep the ranch but sell your home. That money is then used to fully pay your present home and then spent on cars and travel. If you divorce then you would be entitled to a 600k (+7% per year married) BEFORE the other assets are divided.

In all instances I would seriously consider having any prenup dated so it only is valid for a defined period like the first 15 years or so.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10012   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8696122
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HalfTime2017 ( member #64366) posted at 10:03 PM on Monday, November 1st, 2021

If you have concerns, I would ask an attorney, bc what Bigger stated above is not true of all states, maybe the one where his niece lives. In my state, if you enter the marriage with the home, the only portion that the new spouse is entitled to would be the appreciation from the date of the marriage, until you file for divorce.

If both you and your future H both have homes, you can leave those alone and part them out in the prenupt. I don't think its unreasonable for him to make this suggestion. Once bitten, twice shy. Think about all that you've learned about infidelity and how you promised not to make the same mistakes again. Its not about you Foreverlabeled. He would ask this of anyone he's going marry going forward.

The law will split your assets once the marriage certificate is signed from that date, that you make/earn as a couple. That includes any appreciation in the home, your stocks, or other real property. That part is usually no waive. If you have concerns, ask an attorney, but I don't think its unreasonable. You basically walk away with what you brought in, and the appreciation of all assets during the marriage.

I think a way to protect yourself right now or at the time you're getting married is to make sure you have the bank/investment statements on the value and items that you brought into the marriage. Same thing with your house, you can have it appraised. That way, in the event that things go south, you can take that to the judge and he will separate out what was yours prior to the marriage. I almost ran into some issues here b/c most banks and investment firms don't hold their statements beyond 10 yrs. My marriage ended after 10 yrs, and they had mostly gotten rid of those files. I was lucky b/c I kept badgering folks at the firm to look in multiple systems to get me anything and everything they could find. I was able to locate my portfolio balance the month right before my wedding, and the judge and opposing counsel okayed that valuation as my own separate property. So make sure you get those at the time of the wedding, and keep them somewhere safe.

posts: 1187   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2018   ·   location: Cali
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barcher144 ( member #54935) posted at 1:54 PM on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

I am in a similar position as you.

My GF introduced the topic of a prenup literally as a way to convince me to get married. She knows that my divorce went very poorly and her opinion is that a prenup will make me more comfortable. Meaning, she wants to be married to me, not to get my stuff. (also, she has more stuff than me).

So, to summarize, this is my GF's thought:

Many of us have been through a situation that was not fair. [S]He is just making sure you BOTH protected.

Also, there is this:

Prenups in general, shouldn't be enforcing anything outside of the standard by law.

In my location, possessions owned prior to the marriage are non-marital assets and they are not divided during a divorce. However, it's often difficult to find records of "who owned what" in another 10-15 years. For example, I contributed to my retirement for two years prior to getting married and so those contributions (plus any financial gains) should have been non-marital but because I couldn't find records from 2003... my entire retirement account was divided in my divorce.

So, from some perspective, a prenup would just be a listing of who owns what at the time of marriage.

Anyway... there are many different perspectives on this. You have to do what you find to be right for you.

Me: BH, age 48
Her: WS, age 45 (multiple EAs and PAs)
D-Day: August 30, 2016

Diagnosed with depression in December 2016, which was primarily caused by my xWW's affair and associated emotional abuse.

posts: 5141   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2016
id 8696335
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 foreverlabeled (original poster member #52070) posted at 5:07 PM on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

I had a reply that was typed up and I accidentally refreshed the page. Ugh I do that more than I care to admit.

But in that reply as I was typing my thoughts out a couple things really tugged at my heart. One of those was that I was saying something about being a great team, we absolutely are, and the concept of a prenup doesn't align with what is in my mind a "team" it feels actually the opposite.

The other thing was that I know he wants to keep his farm in his family should anything happen in the future and we end in divorce. And the word family hit me, like won't I be his family? I know its not quite the same, but isn't it though?

And no one has ever approached me with a prenup so it caught me off guard. Even with my assets it never crossed my mind so I didn't expect it to cross his. It felt like it came out of nowhere. When as mentioned it absolutely has nothing to do with me, and yes in fact he would have requested this of any potential spouse. So I'm sure it has always been on his mind.

I have such conflicting thoughts. As much as I can understand where he is coming from, its still a little difficult to not take it to heart. And while its not something that would ever change my mind moving forward, I will have to reconcile the difference in my mind.

I appreciate the advice about getting my own lawyer and a little more info regarding a prenup itself. I'm so clueless. So I really do need to look into it more on my own.

33 divorced Madhatter
Time is no ones friend, nor their enemy. It moves forward at its own fixed pace, careless of our wants to speed it or slow it.

posts: 2535   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8696382
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 7:16 PM on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

I have a post nup with my H after his last affair.

If he refused to sign I was D him. I made the post nup a requirement to even consider R.

As for this situation If there are children involved then I think it is responsible for things to be spelled out now. Maybe he doesn’t want his children battling in court over the estate (and vice versa for you if you have children).

He’s being responsible. And fair.

I can tell you I would never marry again. Just b/c of the financial entanglement. Even though I have my own separate accounts etc. it still is an entanglement.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 7:17 PM, Tuesday, November 2nd]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 10878   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8696411
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 11:02 PM on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

I get how this does puncture the glow of new love, but I admit that I'm on the not marrying again train just because of the financial implications. I've divorced twice and started over twice and I'm not at all interested in that a third time. And I get where a prenup feels like "but don't you believe in us?", but I didn't get married either time expecting a divorce. I absolutely knew, especially with my XWH, that this man was the one I'd grow old with because he was my absolute best friend and I was grown and mature enough to know that he was a good man. That is laughable now, but I see why I felt that way. And yet, I didn't share a bank account with him and we only had one loan together. It wasn't lack of love or mistrust at the time. It was just a rule I'd set for myself after the first marriage imploded.

So from my perspective, if I ever agreed to marry anyone again, that alone is a massive compliment. I'd have a prenup even though I'm hardly well-off because I understand that regardless of the best of intentions and no matter the love at the time of the wedding, marriages do fail and I would want to ensure that I didn't have to start over so drastically a third time.

My bet is that he doesn't mean it as a personal thing or as an insult to you. I suspect he's just lived enough and is practical enough to understand that how things are today aren't necessarily how things will be in 10 years. He's obviously believing that they will be or he wouldn't be wanting to get married, but he recognizes he's human and doesn't know the future. It's like getting in the car to head to a vacation destination, fully expecting you'll get there safely, and yet still buckling your seatbelt.

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4632   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8696474
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Buck ( member #72012) posted at 11:25 PM on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

Why in the world would you want to get married foreverlabeled? It seems like a huge gamble without a big benefit. And, I'm in the "never fucking doing that again" camp, so I'm damn sure not extending advice here.

I'm still going through the big D though. Maybe it's too fresh for me.

posts: 338   ·   registered: Nov. 4th, 2019   ·   location: Texas
id 8696484
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 foreverlabeled (original poster member #52070) posted at 4:10 PM on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

Why in the world would you want to get married foreverlabeled?

laugh well neither of us expected it to turn into marriage to be honest. I was happy and content enjoying my solitude and freedom.

But my life experience that brought me to SI has not dimmed my view on love and marriage and what I've always wanted in it. And I have never been so sure about someone the way I am of him, I want to do life with him, and I'd prefer to do it with him as my husband. The price of life and love can sometimes be heartache, in fact that should be expected, I won't live in fear because of it though. I won't close myself off for a chance at something that could be the single best decision of my life. The answer you didn't ask for laugh laugh laugh

I've had some time to consider the prenup, believe it or not no more than 25 minutes passed from our original conversation that I quickly came here to post. It simply hurt my feelings and popped a bubble of sorts. I'm the first to admit that I can be quite sensitive and easily hurt. My brother asked my fiancé about how its going and he said "all I have to worry about is inadvertently hurting her feelings." Lol.

I've talked to him since and with some help from y'all. You know its not quite resolved completely but we are well on our way.

33 divorced Madhatter
Time is no ones friend, nor their enemy. It moves forward at its own fixed pace, careless of our wants to speed it or slow it.

posts: 2535   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8696622
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Trapped74 ( member #49696) posted at 12:08 AM on Thursday, November 4th, 2021

I'm in the "would never get married camp" again. But if I did, I'd never get married without a prenup with an infidelity clause. The only reason I'm still married is because it royally pisses me off that I'll have to split everything I earned IN SPITE of my WH. He lives an unhealthy lifestyle... I'm counting on that. laugh

Personally, I think prenups should be standard fare these days.

Many DDays. Me (BW) 46 Him (WH) 49
Happily detached and compartmentalized.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Oregon
id 8696691
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humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 3:37 PM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

foreverlabeled,

I wouldn't gloss over this as you being overly-sensitive. Some of your statements indicate that you are concerned that you might have a different idea of the nature of marriage with your fiance.

That is a topic fully worth exploring further. There's no right or wrong in the matter, but you should both understand each other's view and accept it.

posts: 409   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
id 8697008
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waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 11:12 PM on Friday, November 5th, 2021

I’m pretty sure that I will never marry again, but if for some reason I lost my mind and did, I would absolutely have an iron clad pre nup. My EX and I actually discussed this at the time of our divorce and we both agreed that we should do this to protect assets that we want to pass on to our children. She was terrified that I would find someone much younger, as that who I was dating during the separation prior to the divorce. More than one expressed interest in more children, and almost all had young children with expenses like college coming up. She didn’t want our children taking a back seat to them.

I really had no problem with the basic 50/50 split I did with her. Even though I was the only wage earner, my success would never have happened without her holding down the home front. Our assets were large.

My potential next spouse (again very unlikely) would not be making the same contributions to my career that my EX did. I’m retired, and assets brought in are protected if not merged, but I still make a considerable amount of money every year on my investments. I woukd most likely take care of any potential partner, but not to the extent of wanting to split the income I make every year.

I agree it’s a hard conversation to have. It’s like predicting failure before the race even start, but isn’t life insurance the same thing? No one is planning on dying, but you want the protection in place just in case.

Second or subsequent marriages are tricky. Level heading planning is key. It won’t be fun, but it is worth spending the time and effort to do it correctly.

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

posts: 1858   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2016
id 8697133
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Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 8:28 PM on Saturday, November 6th, 2021

I also have a prenup that he signed after his affair came to light and we had separated. I have peace of mind, so does he, that what is mine is mine, what is his is his and what is ours, is ours.

It's your road & yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning... you can start over and make a new ending.

posts: 247   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2020
id 8697273
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