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Opinions wanted (prenuptial agreement)

(184 Posts)
Yougotbale Wed 18-Sep-13 16:51:59

Hi, I'm a lurker but wanted to get some views and advise on my situation.
I am 34 and have been fortunate enough to have been financially successful. I am currently retired but may get involved in businesses in the future.
I have been in a relationship with my DP for 4 years. We have lived together for 3 years. She really values marriage and I would be happy to fulfill her dream by asking her to marry. However, I have mentioned that I would like a prenuptial agreement to safeguard my previous earnings and assets. (I've not turned to legal advise so might be overreacting about what is at risk, any info would be good).
At the moment my DP lives in my house. I pay all bills including car, mobile, food and holidays. She still works full time and spends her money on herself (which I like). with little expenditure, she approx saves £15-20k per year. (This is put in cold terms. I see the house as our home. Her car. We are a team).
We don't have children, and both don't want children. I got a vasectomy to take control of contraception. With this in mind, she will save a small fortune of her own.

Anyway, when I mentioned the 'prenuptial' she was very upset and offended. I can see this but think I'm not being unreasonable.
I guess, I wanted see what other people thought of prenups and of my situation?

* Excuse the typos.

And to add, I do belive that assets gained within the duration of the marriage should be distributed evenly in case of divorce.

OP, you sound very sensible. The kind of sensible and level headed that would manage to amass a fortune... wink

If she is your age as you, are you sure she does not really want children?

If there are to be no children, and you want financial independence, then you remain as you are. What is the point of marriage? You can give her romance without marriage!

Teeb Wed 18-Sep-13 19:18:44

Offred I don't think the op is saying they don't want to share financially during marriage, but saying if the marriage were to break down he should be allowed to leave the marriage with what he came into it, which is fair enough I believe.

Yougotbale Wed 18-Sep-13 19:22:12

Lilly
I live in England.

mushroom
Lol. It's not supposed to be a deal. Always need a plan B though lol

lurking
I'm 100% sure I want to get married. I can't be 100% sure it will last. You can't be. I would trust her to stand by me and deal with things, I would expect her to in your scenarios.

I just see these previous earnings as something I did with out her. Unaware she even existed at this point. So why not just sign

reggiebean Wed 18-Sep-13 19:22:46

I understand that it can be seen as unromantic, but really, when 50% of marriages end in divorce, it's just being sensible. No one enters into a marriage thinking that it's going to end, but facts show otherwise, and it's just smart to protect yourself.

The thing is, is that it's protecting her as well. Most prenups have something along the lines of:
if she cheats: she gets nothing
if you cheat: she gets x amount per year spent together
No, it doesn't make the thought of you cheating on her any nicer, but on the off-chance that it happens, at least she's able to move into a house of her own and not be beholden to you, and she's able to move on in life. Otherwise, she's in the unfortunate situation of being 10 years older with no house and nothing to fall back on besides a very small salary.

Offred Wed 18-Sep-13 19:23:15

Yes and likely that that is how a divorce would go anyway.

I do think he should get legal advice tbh because I can't see the benefit to him of getting married at all.

I don't think he is trying to keep everything to himself, he seems to need some security for his pre-relationship assets perfectly reasonably in his relationship set up and I'm not sure in that case why marriage would be a good idea at all for him rather than specifically giving his DP the specific things that he wants her to share in.

Offred Wed 18-Sep-13 19:24:39

And I can't see the benefit to her of marriage in those circs either tbh.

In Norway, where I am from, there are two types of marriage contracts, both equally valid. Sær-eie and Felles-eie. Sær-eie means you keep your finances separate, and walk away from a marriage with what you put in. You may pool your money in your daily running of your life, but if the car is bought in your name it is legally yours, and if your house is bought in her name it is legally hers, and assets are split according to legal ownership during the marriage and assets kept track on from before the marriage. With Felles-eie, assets are pooled and shared in a divorce.

Heritance is also distributed according to ownership of assets. So, if my mum had 100 k and my dad 900 k, my sister and I would get 50k from our mum, and 450 k each from dad, but we would have to pay inheritance tax on anything above 200k. The practical implication of this is that if they had Felles-eie, we would get our tax free allowance of 200k for each of our parents, and in reality inherit 250k from both parents and only pay inheritance of 50k from each them. Hypothetically speaking.

I am just saying this because it seems to me that you are striving to have in marriage what many Norwegians have as a given, without it causing anybody any problems, insecurities and issues.

Teeb Wed 18-Sep-13 19:29:49

I can see benefits. I think if you are a couple who decide not to go down the children route then some people don't put enough significance upon your relationship if you are 'just' partners rather than husband and wife. The next of kin issue, as well as not needing to have a will because a marriage certificate does that for you. Travelling abroad as a spouse is much simpler. That's before you get onto the love and wanting a show of commitment point of view.

Yougotbale Wed 18-Sep-13 19:31:02

I suppose marriage would be a gesture of commitment between us. Anyway, need to get some legal advise, I need to think hard if marriage is for us and then talk to DP.

Yougotbale Wed 18-Sep-13 19:34:03

We are moving to Norway. Is £12 a pint of lager?

Yougotbale Wed 18-Sep-13 19:34:27

*is it

yes, not far off! grin

Yougotbale Wed 18-Sep-13 19:42:47

Great. Anyway, I'm off. To hopefully (although I don't think it'll happen) watch Arsenal get beaten in a humiliating fashion.
Thanks to everyone for your time, opinions and advise. Gotta love ya

MariaLuna Wed 18-Sep-13 19:47:30

I think it's weird that there is no legal pre-nup possibility in UK.

I live in a EU country and you have the choice of pre-nup or none when entering marriage.

It doesn't only protect any assets you bring into the relationship in the event of splitting up, it also protects (me, a mother) of having my house stripped of cooker, fridge and everything else to pay off debts should they be accumulated by the other (a business going bust, etc.).

Why should I have to give 50% of my pre-marriage inheritance that my parents scrimped and saved for to my husband, for instance running off with another woman, while it is destined for my children (education, uni fees, etc.) too.

I think people who say it's not romantic - "why get married at all then" - are still living in a fairy tale - but divorce is around 1 in 3, or thereabouts.

Better to be realistic and protect yourself.

Good luck!

DontmindifIdo Wed 18-Sep-13 19:50:56

Maria - they are 'taken into consideration' but aren't inforcable if they aren't seen to be fair or if situations have changed since signed.

OP if you are still reading, do you really want a situation where your DW wants to end your marriage, and realises if you are dead she gets the lot but if shes divorced she gets nowt? If you ever suspect her of an affair, try to avoid eating anything she's made you or taking her up on the idea of going on a country walk that takes you past some cliffs... grin

itwasarubythatshewore Wed 18-Sep-13 19:51:06

Really I'm not sure why you would marry at all if you want to maintain financial separation. In reality marriage is a legal contract to become financially joined it isn't some great romance.

Offred what about the millions and millions of people around the world who get married in countries where community of property is not the default legal position? Surely their marriages and reasons for wanting to get married are valid regardless of matrimonial regime? smile

*I was just worried about previously accumulated assets and savings. I think those should be untouchable and that's fair enough. I don't think she is after them but you never know people's mentality during a break up.
I don't want anything of hers before we met. Our relationship goal posts will be the same. The old dusty goalpost I accumulated before would not want reachable*

That's fine and fair enough. I was just trying to explain how she might be interpreting your idea. You were surprised she was offended. I was not.

Offred Wed 18-Sep-13 20:13:28

Itwas - that situation is utterly irrelevant to the op who wants advice about marriage and finances here... hmm

OP, just in case you come back....

Just out of interest, how old is she? I didn't want children when I was 25 and then something within me radically changed and I suddenly did. Is she a similar age to you (I guess by then she will know for sure if she does or doesn't) or is she younger?

Not sure if that's even relevant - just the thought that you need to go into marriage totally sure your singing from the same hymn sheet.

Another thing - if you do get a pre-nup, I'd get it putting into writing that she is aware about the vasectomy, just in case it was ever your word against hers.....

itwasarubythatshewore Wed 18-Sep-13 20:48:48

Offred I disagree it's irrelevant as you've said you don't see what's in marriage for him if he wants to keep finances separate. I was just pointing out that there clearly is a lot in marriage for people who want to keep their finances separate and, as it happens, lots of people in the UK do keep their finances separate in marriage and divorce and don't view it as pooling of finances.

OP, do get legal advice. If you got married and then divorced, it's not necessarily the case that your pre-existing assets would be split 50/50. There is a lot of discretion and the courts can let you keep them - as they should IMO.

Yougotbale Wed 18-Sep-13 20:56:57

eachandevery hi, we are the same age. I think that Is partly why she wants to get married. I think she feels she is missing out on married life. Almost all of her friends, of our age, are married. I think she feels any extra legal conditions are not romantic. I don't really get it. I'll get some professional advise so I can give her a clearer picture of what it entails.
I would understand more is we were starting out in life and planning a family, but we have met each other later. Already with our own foundations.

ImperialBlether Wed 18-Sep-13 20:59:38

Does your partner come onto this site? I think the suggestion of a prenup should've come from her actually. In her position I would not want somebody to think I was marrying them for money.

Does she ever treat you to anything? Does she rely on you to pay for things when you are out for example? I know you can afford to pay but does she just go out and buy something off-the-cuff so to speak? Not so much a treat but just things like food shopping? Has there become an expectation that you will pay?

Yougotbale Wed 18-Sep-13 21:00:08

itwas I will get advise. I know what you are saying but I don't want a court to let me keep what is mine. I feel I ultimately should be in control of what is mine. Not that I think we wouldn't last, it just incase

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