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View Poll Results: Would you have a pre nup ?
yes 40 50.00%
no 17 21.25%
maybe 23 28.75%
Voters: 80. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-16-2008, 03:58 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by growing_older View Post

....I'm 100% for prenup, despite being in general 100% romantic and deeply committed. It's like insurance for an unlikely but potentially devastating scenario.
Having worked in Family Law appeals since 1991, I'm not going to say everything I think about pre nups. Since we're talking "insurance" here, think about how forum member 2B writes about annuities.

Pre nups are very very cheap to draw up and just the opposite if contested.

Sorry if this offends anyone but I know of no really good attorneys who draw up pre nups, there is too little money it it. The ones I've seen reviewed also don't take much time and that's where you might see the most "cover my butt letters," that is cover the reviewing attorney's butt.

Would you really want your complex dissolution of marriage proceedings to spend three days of trial time on a minor point on your pre nup, or as I somethings see, eight weeks of trial time, thousands of pages of transcripts, and a vindictive ex appealing every possible angle? After a while, you are spending real money.

I haven't thought this through, but as an alternative (short of staying single) I would consider spending a lot of money (up to $20,000) on attorney consult time for advice on keeping separate pre-marital assets separate and traceable. I would keep it totally confidential between me and the attorney; there would be no last-minute pre-wedding tears over it.
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Old 08-16-2008, 05:45 PM   #22
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I voted no pre-nup. In the highly unlikely event that I ever re-marry (still madly in love with wife #1), I just couldn't imagine marrying somebody that I had even the slightest doubt about. Realistically, I probably would never marry again.
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Old 08-16-2008, 05:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by CuppaJoe View Post
Having worked in Family Law appeals since 1991, I'm not going to say everything I think about pre nups.
Thanks for informed comments from one in the field.

Ha
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:23 PM   #24
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I just couldn't imagine marrying somebody that I had even the slightest doubt about
In case it wasn't clear from my earlier post. I DID marry someone that I had absolutely no doubt about whatsoever. We communicated well for 20 years and there were still no doubts. Then, something changed in her about midlife and she no longer wanted to be married. I was still as committed as ever. It is NOT the case that I'm thinking future prenup because I'm entering into a shaky relationship. It is the case that I'm thinking prenup because I've taken a lifetime to accumulate near FI and I wouldn't want to expose that separate property to a possible split in divorce, which I know can happen despite my best efforts and intentions. I would want my separate property to remain mine (and my kids') no matter the scenario.

I'm still a hopeless romantic and dream of a fully committed relationship where we share everything. But even if I should be lucky enough to find someone with whom to share such a future relationship, I cannot imagine doing so without explicit agreement that separate property BEFORE the marriage would be treated as separate property in the (however unlikely) event of divorce. Maybe my experience poisons my outlook, but I KNOW that no matter how sure I am of the other persons intentions and romantic affection, people can and do change and I cannot control that.
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:00 PM   #25
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...keeping separate pre-marital assets separate and traceable. I would keep it totally confidential between me and the attorney; there would be no last-minute pre-wedding tears over it.
I like the first sentence for folks getting hitched in a non-community property state, but I wonder how well this would work in a community property state. I wonder about the second sentence, though. Wouldn't it be better to have everything openly disclosed, discussed, and agreed upon before getting hitched, including which pre-marital assets are going to be kept separate, and how? Having never been married and not being an expert in marital law, I'm just floating trial balloons.

My (now deceased) step-father's attorneys treated my mother like a scheming, gold-digging witch during the pre-nup negotiation/signing process. My mother said it was a horrible experience. For folks interested in a romantic engagement & wedding, this could be a real downer. In a bizarre twist, my step-father ended up leaving a huge amount to my mother, enraging my step-brothers.

I have no problem with pre-nups. However, I don't see any reason to get hitched. Co-habitation & partnership are adequate for my needs.
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:17 PM   #26
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DW and I don't have a prenup because we both came into the marriage with nothing in our names. But in case of a second marriage, I would no doubt ask for a prenup now that I have significant assets. It might not be very romantic, but it's just too important. But in all likelihood I would never marry again.
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:35 PM   #27
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I like the first sentence for folks getting hitched in a non-community property state, but I wonder how well this would work in a community property state....
That's why I suggest discussing it with a lawyer. Calif. is a community property state, but pre-marital assets are considered separate property. I would assume any potential spouse would know that and it need not be discussed.

It's gets complicated really fast, you might marry in a community property state and divorce in a state with different ideas.
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:54 PM   #28
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....

I wonder how many marriages last until death - let's say the people get married at 30 y/o? Anyone know the answer?
--

I think this has already been discussed; I just wanted to link off it. Another thing to wonder about is how many people do the polar opposite of pre nup which IMO is not having no pre nup but transmuting all their separate property into community property at the time of marriage. Now, that is a gigantic leap of faith. I'm 99% sure I would never sign a pre nup but doubt very much i would do the total opposite.
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:43 PM   #29
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That's why I suggest discussing it with a lawyer. Calif. is a community property state, but pre-marital assets are considered separate property. I would assume any potential spouse would know that and it need not be discussed.

It's gets complicated really fast, you might marry in a community property state and divorce in a state with different ideas.
Good point - it is like how people make risk decisions.
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:36 PM   #30
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I am 26 and got married at 22. My wife and I have a pre-nup that basically says that any assets in her name are hers, any assets in my name are mine, and any jointly named assets are ours.

If I choose, over time I can put her on the house or share assets with her. Works out pretty good.
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:58 AM   #31
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The divorce rate in America for first marriage, vs second or third marriage
50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce....
While discussing similar stats a year ago with my older sister, who like me is also 20 years into a second marriage, she made a good point:

"Those are the people who didn't learn anything the first time."
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:58 AM   #32
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Thank everybody for responding . I'm surprized that the no's and maybe's are ahead . If I were to marry again (highly unlikely ) I would definetely go for a pre -nup and I'm a romantic fool .
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:26 PM   #33
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Walt34, prehaps your sister is either myopic or or unaware that as an individual one has little choice as to whether or not a marriage lasts. There are two individuals in the marriage, and one may have learned well the first time around, may wish to remain married and still end up divorced.

Additionally, not all those who remain married are happy. Is it better to be abused than divorced?
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:33 PM   #34
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Married to DH #1 thirty years in December, and when we married, we each had a car payment - that's all. If I should ever be single again, I would love to have someone to date, travel with, and care about, but cannot imagine ever marrying again, or for that matter living full-time in the same house with someone else. What we have (when we are finished with it) is for our only child (son), and I would not put that at risk. Frankly, I know more than one person who either gave everything away in the first divorce, or squandered their young years away (regarding asset accumulation) and now need a place to land. Not interested in a set up like that or someone popping off about what I choose to do or not do for my son with assets that belong to me.
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:47 AM   #35
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Walt34, prehaps your sister is either myopic or or unaware that as an individual one has little choice as to whether or not a marriage lasts. There are two individuals in the marriage, and one may have learned well the first time around, may wish to remain married and still end up divorced.

Additionally, not all those who remain married are happy. Is it better to be abused than divorced?
She is well aware that either one could decide to end it, and there are two people in the marriage. Every day that both come home is a decision to continue. Perhaps not a conscious one, but a decision nonetheless.

Relationships can be/are infinitely complicated, and I suppose it all comes down to "Am I better off staying in it or would life be better elsewhere?" But then one has to be able to live with the decisions.

I wouldn't expect anyone to remain in a marriage that was either physically or emotionally abusive.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:23 AM   #36
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I wouldn't expect anyone to remain in a marriage that was either physically or emotionally abusive.
To me that seems to be a pretty low bar.

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