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Adult Daughter and Pre-Nuptial Agreements.

(13 Posts)
plurabelle Fri 26-Feb-16 09:51:07

My older daughter who is in her mid-twenties recently became engaged.

She wants me and my partner to give her advice, because her father-in-law to be wants her to sign a pre-nuptial agreement. When she asked him why the conversation became awkward, and she doesn't really understand what is going on. It appears to be a) something to do with attempting to ring-fence money related to a businesses that are are owned by older generations (i.e. grandparents) of the family and b) the fact that somewhere along the line another marriage in the family broke up and the bride 'went off with the gold'

My daughter and her partner are both working hard and are both paying off the joint mortgage. Although he's well paid, he doesn't have enormous wealth. His parents are comfortably off - pleasant modern house - but not hugely rich. My daughter and her partner don't have children yet and there are no children from previous relationships.

Just wondered how other parents of adult daughters might feel in this situation.

Whatdoidohelp Fri 26-Feb-16 09:54:56

Her FIL to be wants her to sign a pre-nip? What does her fiancé say about it?

cingolimama Fri 26-Feb-16 10:01:00

I understand your concerns OP, and personally, I take a dim view of pre-nups for young couples. It smacks of "if we break up, I get to keep the Mercedes" kind of thing.

However, there are two very valid reasons for a pre-nup: one is to protect children from a previous marriage/relationship, and the other is to protect a family business, which would collapse if financially divided.

If the fiance's family only wish to somehow ring-fence the business, then that would be understandable. Anything else, given they are young and starting out together, would be, to me, unreasonable.

FredaMayor Fri 26-Feb-16 10:08:55

I don't think this is just about their business. This behaviour is giving you a flavour of things to come, and that DD is lucky that it has happened now.

plurabelle Fri 26-Feb-16 10:09:58

My daughter's husband-to-be works for a large company, rather than in the business owned by his parents, and it's that which is the source of his income. He did set up a small business himself - with some (non-financial) from my daughter - before going to his current job. His parents currently keep this running, but it's not a big moneyspinner or likely to become one. Just ticking over.

So am not entirely sure why there's this concern about business currently owned by older generations. It's possible that my future son-in-law might inherit a stake in the fullness of time. But all sorts of things might happen if you see what I mean. (Ranging from the birth of children to people getting run over by a bus..)

Yes, one of the many things that is not currently clear, is where my daughter's partners stands in all this.

There is more to find out in the weeks to come.

plurabelle Fri 26-Feb-16 10:10:36

Above should read 'some (non-financial) help from my daughter.'

peggyundercrackers Fri 26-Feb-16 10:20:37

How do you know the in laws financial status? How do you know how their company operates and how ownership is set up?

I think if they want to protect their company that's entirely understandable however I think that's where the pre-nup should end.

RudeElf Fri 26-Feb-16 10:25:08

I would advise your daughter to consult a solicitor. Pre nups are fine as long as they protect both parties. You can bet your ass any pre nup they have drawn up will not serve your daughter's interests. She can show them she isnt a walk over by coming up with a counter proposal -yes i will sign a pre nup, but not your pre nup, here is my offer which you will sign. Might be enough of a hassle for her fiance to say fuck the pre nup, this isnt a business transaction, its marriage.

RiceCrispieTreats Fri 26-Feb-16 10:25:42

Having gone through a divorce, I certainly see the value in pre-nups now.

However, that is a decision for your daughter and her fiancé only. The fact that this is her future FIL pushing for it does not sit right: it is not for him to interfere in two other people's marriage decisions.

kittybiscuits Fri 26-Feb-16 10:34:57

I see you are your usual wise and erudite self peggy wink

JonSnowKnowsNowt Fri 26-Feb-16 10:49:40

Your daughter should definitely not sign anything without her own (good) solicitor. She should not be pushed or rushed into anything. I think if it was me, I would get a (good) solicitor, and ask the FIL to have their solicitor send that solicitor the proposed agreement. Then talk it through with my solicitor and take it from there.

I can imagine there might be a situation for protecting a family business from being forcibly broken up. This might even be advantageous for your daughter's future children. But it would need to be thoroughly and clearly understood and laid out so that it doesn't disadvantage your daughter in any way.

HeddaGarbled Fri 26-Feb-16 10:59:42

If she contributed to the setting up of the business, even if that wasn't a financial contribution, she shouldn't sign away all her rights to it.

My concern would be that in the future, her H may give up his independent job and work for the family business instead. If the couple are then reliant on the income from the business, she could be vulnerable if she has no claim on it, particularly if she gives up work to bring up children.

Agree with PP, re legal advice.

LogicalThinking Fri 26-Feb-16 11:00:20

Your daughter needs legal advice to look over the wording of the prenup.
If they are just looking to ringfence a family business that he stands to inherit, then that seems fairly reasonable.
Bear in mind that prenups aren't legally binding. If they stay together for 20 years, have children together and that business becomes his main income, then it could easily be over-ruled if they split up.

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