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What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-29-2005, 06:26 PM   #1
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What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

I'm not a Rockefeller or heir to any particular fortune, but I think a pre-nup to cover a few specific cases is reasonable. Am I way off base with these? Missing any other key ones? My girlfriend is in the position of out-earning me in her profession, and I think it's ridiculous that I would have to pay her alimony if she was the high earner and things didn't work out down the road.

1. If the marriage ends within a short period of time (say, 3 years) then both parties retain any assets/liabilities they had when the marriage began, and the total increase in assets over the marriage is divided by percentage contribution (if one person has been earning $100k and the other $50k, the first person gets 66% of the increase, 33% to the other).

2. If both people have been working from the time of marriage until the divorce (that is to say, no one has become a stay at home parent), then neither is entitled to alimony from the other - they both still have their careers.

3. If one person commits adultery and it results in a divorce, they're not entitled to any alimony from the other person. The remainder of the assets are divided by percentage contribution (e.g. if the person who had the affair has been sitting on the couch doing nothing for the last 5 years, tough beans).

Obviously these only apply to alimony...I don't believe that you can contract around child support, even if you tried. And while I'm not thrilled by the idea of a pre-nup (because of the trust issues it raises) I think it's like insurance...you get it and hope you never need it.
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-29-2005, 06:42 PM   #2
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

I know prenups are probably a good idea, but I wouldn't marry anyone who wanted one--it's like declaring you're doomed to fail before you even begin. If you're not sure about your future spouse or her intentions, don't marry her. JMHO...

The only way I understand using pre-nups is for someone older with a lot of assets.
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-29-2005, 07:13 PM   #3
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan
Am I way off base with these? Missing any other key ones?
I think we've beaten this topic to death in this thread. But there may be a pony yet to be gleaned from this pile...
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-29-2005, 07:41 PM   #4
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

I'm glad I married young and poor and didn't have to deal with any of these issues.

The only way I would consider a pre-nup is if I was on a second or third marriage and had existing children to look out for.
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-29-2005, 07:51 PM   #5
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowGirl
I'm glad I married young and poor and didn't have to deal with any of these issues.*

The only way I would consider a pre-nup is if I was on a second or third marriage and had existing children to look out for.
I fit the profile. I would never have remarried without one and DW knew
it before I brought it up. Has never really been a problem
(wrote my own of course)

JG
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-29-2005, 07:52 PM   #6
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowGirl
I'm glad I married young and poor and didn't have to deal with any of these issues.
I wouldn't want to deal with that situation under any circumstances! I can just imagine the scene in the base's Legal Office when the young JAG invites a Marine to sign the paperwork...
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-29-2005, 08:08 PM   #7
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan

1. If the marriage ends within a short period of time (say, 3 years) then both parties retain any assets/liabilities they had when the marriage began,
And any assets gained during the marriage are then split 50/50%. *If you trust this person enough to marry them, then you are going into this with the idea it is for life. If someone I was looking to spend the rest of my life cam eup with a formula to calculate their "contribution" to the marriage, rightly or wrongly, it would really piss me off. Granted I will most likely be in the position of being the one that makes less money, but it sounds like you're not expecting it to last rather than an "insurance" policy. The amount of income one earns does not necessarily translate into what they have invested (morally, spiritually, emotionally) in the relationship.

Quote:
2. If both people have been working from the time of marriage until the divorce (that is to say, no one has become a stay at home parent), then neither is entitled to alimony from the other - they both still have their careers.
I TOTALLY agree with this one. In fact, I would agree that even if one had stayed home that one shouldn't be entitled to alimony. If it's because you were a stay at home parent, there is child support that will be there in that case.

Quote:
3. If one person commits adultery and it results in a divorce,
Nope. Sounds like someone isn't trusting enough of the other partner (whether that's you or the other party, doesn't matter). Why give adultry such attention? What if you find out that your spouse is a coke head, can't hold a job and has burned thru all the assets? Is that more or less worthy than adultry for special mention in a pre-nup? It shouldn't matter why you get divorced - besides, then one has to PROVE that item (adultry or whatever) to enforce that particular part of the contract.

As far as being asked to sign a pre-nup, it would really depend on whether there were kids from a previous marriage and if the other person had A WHOLE BUNCH MORE money than me. If we were relatively close in assets / earning potential and no kids invovled, I would not sign one and would take it as a sign that the person was not ready for a lifetime commitment. After three sets of steps (from my parents multiple re-marriages) I totally understand wanting to have things in writing concerning children.

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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-29-2005, 08:25 PM   #8
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal
And any assets gained during the marriage are then split 50/50%. *If you trust this person enough to marry them, then you are going into this with the idea it is for life. If someone I was looking to spend the rest of my life cam eup with a formula to calculate their "contribution" to the marriage, rightly or wrongly, it would really piss me off. Granted I will most likely be in the position of being the one that makes less money, but it sounds like you're not expecting it to last rather than an "insurance" policy. The amount of income one earns does not necessarily translate into what they have invested (morally, spiritually, emotionally) in the relationship.

I TOTALLY agree with this one. In fact, I would agree that even if one had stayed home that one shouldn't be entitled to alimony. If it's because you were a stay at home parent, there is child support that will be there in that case.

Nope. Sounds like someone isn't trusting enough of the other partner (whether that's you or the other party, doesn't matter). Why give adultry such attention? What if you find out that your spouse is a coke head, can't hold a job and has burned thru all the assets? Is that more or less worthy than adultry for special mention in a pre-nup? It shouldn't matter why you get divorced - besides, then one has to PROVE that item (adultry or whatever) to enforce that particular part of the contract.

As far as being asked to sign a pre-nup, it would really depend on whether there were kids from a previous marriage and if the other person had A WHOLE BUNCH MORE money than me. If we were relatively close in assets / earning potential and no kids invovled, I would not sign one and would take it as a sign that the person was not ready for a lifetime commitment. After three sets of steps (from my parents multiple re-marriages) I totally understand wanting to have things in writing concerning children.

I believe in love. I truly do. However, anyone who has gone through a nasty
divorce should give a prenup some serious thought, kids or no kids.

Elvis has left the building (to spend some quality time with DW)

JG
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-29-2005, 08:26 PM   #9
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

JG,

I don't get it, *you say your DW is a Babe and she has a job.
Yet you say that you retired with very little money. *

Why would you want a pre-nup? I would think that she would want one.

Only thing I can figure is that you must be a STUD!

When you purchase your scanner don't forget to post a picture of yourself. *We all want to see what your DW sees in you.
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-29-2005, 08:48 PM   #10
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowGirl
I'm glad I married young and poor and didn't have to deal with any of these issues.
Me too!
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-29-2005, 09:04 PM   #11
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

Item #3 on the list should be scratched. There are lots of other acts that could be added. If the actions violate trust .. enough said.
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-30-2005, 07:20 AM   #12
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

Good point on #3...the same violation of trust could come from a lot of areas. I'll scratch that one.

Putting aside the "to pre-nup or not" question, are #1 and #2 still reasonable things?
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-30-2005, 08:21 AM   #13
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

Wife #3 and I discussed a prenup; actually she asked me if I wanted one since our assets are very different. I just did not want one and I still believe I did what was right for us. Despite being screwed by wife #1, I still felt the prenup would have been like an elephant in the room....you notice it but you don't talk about it. It was just not what our relationship is all about. Both of us have been married several times before and are in our 50s so we think we have enough experience to make this one work.

We have also created our own trusts and other documents to be sure our respective kids get assets from our individual estates but only after we both are gone. We are taking care of each other first.

We each have our own comfort level. Do what you both feel is right. Planning to fail can be a good thing in a marriage but I did not feel it necessary in my case. You milage may vary.
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-30-2005, 08:26 AM   #14
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

If you're 23 years old as your tagline indicates, I'm assuming your future spouse is somewhere around the same age.* If so, she hasn't even reached her peak earning potential (nor have you for that matter).* Who knows, in ten years her income could far exceed yours or vice versa.

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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-30-2005, 08:33 AM   #15
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan
I'm not a Rockefeller or heir to any particular fortune, but I think a pre-nup to cover a few specific cases is reasonable. Am I way off base with these? Missing any other key ones? My girlfriend is in the position of out-earning me in her profession, and I think it's ridiculous that I would have to pay her alimony if she was the high earner and things didn't work out down the road.

If you got a divorce and you both work, most likely no one would get alimony (unless one made very little money and you had been married for quite a long time). I can't imagine a circumstance where the lower earner would pay the higher earner alimony.
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-30-2005, 10:00 AM   #16
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
If you got a divorce and you both work, most likely no one would get alimony (unless one made very little money and you had been married for quite a long time). I can't imagine a circumstance where the lower earner would pay the higher earner alimony.
Having never been married and being 57+, I would be concerned about my nest egg since work gene has totally disintegrated from my DNA.
I will "assume" that if I did marry (a miracle in itself) in the near future that my spouse would either be working or retired with a much smaller nest egg or none at all. When it comes to alimony, does a court make a distinction between income derived from a $50k salary versus $80k retirement investments only (no pension).
What if prior to being married the spouse was unemployment with no income and no assets and continued to be unemployed after marriage? How would that effect alimony?

MJ
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-30-2005, 05:40 PM   #17
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ
Having never been married and being 57+, I would be concerned about my nest egg since work gene has totally disintegrated from my DNA.

MJ
This is one of the reasons why I am kind of wishy-washy about pre-nups. Being that I pass up the latest "thing" and work hard to save for when I can FIRE, I get a little paranoid thinking that half of all I've worked for could be taken away.* So, I understand someone having the same thoughts about me.* BUT, I am not in a committed relationship and nowhere near marriage. IF I was actually thinking about making such a commitment, I hope that I would be able to get past these feelings.

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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-30-2005, 06:27 PM   #18
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

I'm struggling with a lot of the same questions about prenups.*

Anybody have any thoughts on these (admittedly very basic) questions?*

1. My girlfriend has massive student loan debts, and I have none.* If we get married and then divorced, do I have any liability for her debts?

2. My net worth = about $65k (mostly my house).* My girlfriend's net worth = about negative $55K (mostly her student loans).* In the event of divorce, does she get half my assets?
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 09-30-2005, 08:21 PM   #19
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

The main problem with a pre-nup is that it precedes a nup.

Just get the pre-nup, then call off the wedding. She won't have to put up with your toilet seat inadequacies, and you will not worry about losing your stash.

Ha
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?
Old 10-01-2005, 07:49 AM   #20
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Re: What's reasonable for a pre-nup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ
Having never been married and being 57+, I would be concerned about my nest egg since work gene has totally disintegrated from my DNA.
I will "assume" that if I did marry (a miracle in itself) in the near future that my spouse would either be working or retired with a much smaller nest egg or none at all. When it comes to alimony, does a court make a distinction between income derived from a $50k salary versus $80k retirement investments only (no pension).
What if prior to being married the spouse was unemployment with no income and no assets and continued to be unemployed after marriage? How would that effect alimony?

MJ
I imagine different states treat these issues differently. But I am somewhat familier with a couple of states. I know that in these two states the courts generally divide things fifty fifty, unless there is a statutory exception. I believe that in at least one of those states, premarital property that is kept segregated generally will be retained by the spouse that owned it.

Will that effect the obligation to pay alimony? It might. Say you had been married for a long time--over ten years, and your wife had a low paying part time job and you had significant income from your investments. You might have to pay alimony for a period of time.

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