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Opinions wanted (prenuptial agreement)

(185 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?

Teeb Wed 18-Sep-13 16:55:31

I agree with the idea behind a prenuptial agreement, particularly in a situation that doesn't involve children. The person you are before you become married is different to what you are as a unit. You aren't saying that she would be left with nothing, just not the things that you gained before you met her.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 18-Sep-13 16:56:54

I don't think it matters what others think here. This is a very personal decision, she's offended by the suggestion that she's after your cash, and that's the problem you have to resolve. I think what you'll find if you talk to a lawyer is that pre-nups are invalid if they are not entered into voluntarily and that they become less effective over time anyway. The longer you stay married, the less the pre-nup would be deemed relevant in the event of a split. BTW If you have no children to leave it to and don't intend to have any.... who or what exactly are you protecting?

Yougotbale Wed 18-Sep-13 16:58:07

She say its unromantic. I think it's a no brainer. I don't think it takes anything away from the ceremony of getting married

VanitasVanitatum Wed 18-Sep-13 17:00:06

She may be upset because you're taking about the potential end of the relationship, which could seem to her that you envisage it not being for life. Of course that is not what you're thinking, but you can see why it's such a sensitive point. If she will have considerable savings and you won't have children your premarital assets could possibly be seen by the court as not being marital assets, depending on length of marriage.. Always best to get legal advice though.

Yougotbale Wed 18-Sep-13 17:01:25

cog protecting myself I suppose. If it didn't last. Plus family and DP are in my will. It's if we split I don't have to lose my houses, assets and savings

Yougotbale Wed 18-Sep-13 17:03:01

van not really looking at the end totally. I've said that if the marriage does last forever. Then the prenuptial is academic

Platinumstart Wed 18-Sep-13 17:04:39

It's a personal decision. They're not for me and I would be very upset if any partner of mine suggested one: the implication to me would be that they felt I was a golddigger/the relationship lacked longevity.

I would find it a total turn off and be very upset and I say that as someone who entered marriage with significantly more than my DH.

(Although I'm talking 6 figures, not 8 so maybe that is relevant)

superbagpuss Wed 18-Sep-13 17:09:03


you sound like a friend of mine although he is older

he was burned once by an ex wife, and so I would consider in his position a pretty nup would make a lot of sense

it doesn't hurt to protect what's yours if something goes wrong, if it all goes to plan you will never need it grin.

Yougotbale Wed 18-Sep-13 17:09:46

platinum I get what you are saying. It's a hard one to communicate. I am helping her buy her own house (not financially) so together we will both have assets. I suppose it's more of a practical way to look at marriage.

Teeb Wed 18-Sep-13 17:19:01

Of course no one goes into a marriage expecting it to end, but you must be a giant ostrich to believe it isn't a possible outcome surely? Why does everyone become so naive and hush hush about it?

Xales Wed 18-Sep-13 17:22:29

I think it is very sensible to protect assets created before you even met someone. Finances are not romantic, they should be dealt with in an adult fashion before people join forces.

Having said that you do need to look into the validity of them assuming you are in the UK.

I am in a similar position working out how to protect my asset (pokey 3 bed house) with new partner who wants to move in. He is very happy for me to do this as he knows it is my DS's future.

If your P is not paying anything and saving £15k-£20k a year she will not walk away with nothing even if she gets none of your assets.

Yougotbale Wed 18-Sep-13 17:33:42

The 2 main stumbling blocks are:

1. She is so upset and I don't want to be cold and unromantic

2. I understand she might get emotionally attached to our home but if did put her as a joint owner of the house, one would have to buy the other out or it would have to sold anyway.

CailinDana Wed 18-Sep-13 17:54:05

Tough situation. I think you are very sensible to talk about this before marriage, too many couples ignore the practicalities of marriage thinking it's "unromantic." Bollocks to that. Marriage is a legal contract with serious implications.
However imo if your views on money differ then the marriage isn't going to work long term. You want to marry but not share all of your assets. Fair enough. She doesn't agree. I'm not sure there's a resolution to that that won't lead to resentment from one of you.

Yougotbale Wed 18-Sep-13 18:02:40

cailin you might be right. The assets are shared in terms of use. I suppose i could go for more of a 50/50 split in our current situation and share our bills equally. See how that works for a bit. See if that changes our minds

ofmiceandmen Wed 18-Sep-13 18:04:41

Yougotbale been there, done that... got the T shirt ...and got it taken off my back- do it regardless of what she feels.


It's that simple. she would love you if you had nothing right? so you come into the marriage with nothing.

Ensure there are clauses for trust funds should any children be adopted or happen (yes it can happen) and one to protect her for future illness and old age if that's at all possible.

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

I am leaning that way. Making it a deal breaker. Im looking for the best way to communicate it to my DP. I don't want it to cause resentment. DP is much more keen on marriage than I am, although, I do want to. Think ill have to put my foot down. DP won't accept that because of my fortunate position, her ability to obtain her own assets and savings is greatly accelerated.

ALittleStranger Wed 18-Sep-13 18:13:00

I thought pre-nups have no weight in English law? If that's still correct you're essentially asking her to agree to something symbolic, which will of course detract from the symbolism of your marriage.

Sometimes I'd love it if we were all rational enough to agree pre-nups were sensible. But they do undermine marriage, and what you're saying to her is either I don't want to be with you for ever or I think you're after my cash. Neither is very flattering.

Offred Wed 18-Sep-13 18:16:22

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.

In your situation it would be vastly simpler just to not get married!

Cabrinha Wed 18-Sep-13 18:17:49

It's not unromantic at all. It's not relevant to romance.
Fact is, no matter how much you love each other, many marriages don't work out. Acknowledging that doesn't mean you don't WANT yours to.
Get it protected. It's not calling her a gold digger. And frankly, if she can misunderstand how you feel - thinking you DO think she's a gold digger - you're not ready to marry each other.

My ex put in £5K more than me on our house deposit - that's all - and I still made a point of telling him that I would "gain" instantly with being joint tenants. He said that was fine. Job done. No need to anyone to throw gold digger rubbish about!

Offred Wed 18-Sep-13 18:18:35

I don't mean that nastily btw. I agree with cailin, you are sensible to actually talk about how you feel.

I think that is difficult but respectful of your partner, yourself and the relationship tbh.

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

Why does she want to get married?

ofmiceandmen Wed 18-Sep-13 18:23:18

My ex came back and fought tooth and nail for the kids. when she finally won the last magistrates case - her first words outside were - "No we'll see who gets what from the financial settlement" with my own mother left open mouthed and shocked. ditto the court usher.

I am not saying your DP is my ex but you are in a unique position. the dynamics of what people see in you is different, the extent of damage that can be done to you is vastly different.

My kids are now primarily being looked after by my exMIL. funny that. and yes she went to tick every box pension, spousal income, maintenance of lifestyle, every single box at the back of that bloody form. Kerching! and wanted 7K a month - I mean really?! and oh did I mention the boys could not go to their future boarding school unless I got her a house near the school. haha

Women are just blokes without the dangly bits. they are not made of sugar and spice and all things nice. They are your equals in good and bad. Respect that and get that prenup. grin

but don't mind me - I'm just a bitter a twisted 37 year old who looks back at his 32 year old version as shakes his head

ryangoslinglovesmedamnit Wed 18-Sep-13 18:26:27

Wow..she's got it good with you hasn't she? You're not financially independent. .you are keeping her.

I think its a sensible move. She ought to look past it given how generous you are in your day to day lives, I can't see why she's so worried. .it sounds unromantic but its just practicality.

good luck op.

Offred Wed 18-Sep-13 18:27:53

Honestly in all seriousness I think rather than getting a pre nup which is unlikely to provide you with tangible legal protection of the kind you want I really think you ought to consider saying you don't want to get married.

As far as I can see if you are not going to have any children and you want to maintain financial separation then I think that'd be the best plan. All other things like next of kin stuff and wills can be got around.

Perhaps it'd be wise for you to get legal advice about what would be the best way for you to achieve what you want and then work from there?

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