Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Prenup Woes

(82 Posts)
user1467226227 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:23:47

New member, first post. Please play nice.

I am getting married abroad later this summer. My other half works in the City on £150k+ and I am a mid-band civil servant on £50k (sorry to talk money, but it's obviously relevant).

Our assets are (at present) roughly the same and we both expect to inherit reasonably well.

A few weeks ago O/H decided to make serious noises about a prenup to cover absolutely every single aspect of our financial lives. I.e. aside from anything we own in joint names our finances will be kept totally separate and neither party will make a claim against the other in the event of divorce.

I know that 40% of marriages end in divorce and my head is not opposed to the idea of a prenup. That said, I am having some problems getting my heart round it.

The whole thing just seems so completely unromantic. Further, it suggests that my O/H potentially doesn't see the marriage as 'going the distance' and is already looking for an escape route.

Further it presents practical problems - my O/H is seriously considering moving overseas in 2-5 years (particularly following the Brexit vote) and, obviously, the plan would be for me to go too. We have also discussed the possibility of kids, which would probably mean me giving up work for a while for the purposes of full-time childcare.

In light of the pre-nuptual agreement being asked for I now feel:

a) less than enthusiastic about our pending marriage.
b) in no way inclined to give up my job to follow my O/H abroad.
c) in no way inclined to give up my job if we have kids.

I have tried to raise this with my O/H. They don't see any real issues and have simply told me not to give up my job or follow them abroad unless I am totally comfortable with it.

To me, this is not the solution. I want to follow them and make decisions which are best for our marriage. I am however acutely aware that if I would probably be 'high and dry' financially if I give up work with this pre-nup in place and we split.

I am massively annoyed at all of this as we are not too far from getting married and it has been 'hot dropped' on me. I appreciate that pre-nups are not legally binding, but have been advised it would probably be upheld unless it was totally unreasonable.

I am not looking for legal advice. More emotional support. I thought marriage was about union / wedded bliss etc... Instead I feel like I am in the middle of signing a business deal that is being presented as a 'fait accompli'.

Has anyone been in a similar situation or got any thoughts about how I might deal with this? The rest of our relationship is good, but it is driving a real wedge inbetween us (on my part anyway).

TormundGiantsbabe Wed 29-Jun-16 20:29:00

No way would I be agreeing to any of that if you will be expected to give up work to care for children or move to another country.

moonface1978 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:35:09

I feel for you. This would make me feel very insecure too. Whether it is a dealbreaker only you can know.

If you decide to go ahead, I think you must ensure that there are clauses in place to "reimburse" you if you like for any time as a stay at home mother, cost to relocate in the event of a break in relationships while you are abroad, provision for children etc...

user1467226227 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:35:15

Oh agreed. I will not be making any decision that will leave me in the financial poop if we split. Which means I will not be playing marriage as a team, but as an individual.

Which is actually what my problem with this whole thing is - 2 people going into marriage but keeping everything totally separate. So why get married in the first place? I appreciate wanting to protect existing assets and inheritance, but keeping absolutely everything totally separate seems a little extreme.

Wedding is overseas in under 2 months. Fully booked and paid for. Grrrr...

CalleighDoodle Wed 29-Jun-16 20:35:45

They have simply told you not to follow them aborad when they move abroad? How is that a marriage?

user1467226227 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:38:58

Pre-nup negotiations have been tense. Basically we have argued a lot and I have been told it's basically a 'take it or leave it'.

O/H said I did not trust them when I asked for clauses on kids and to compensate me if I move abroad and our marriage breaks down.

I responded by saying the whole reason behind the prenup is a lack of trust on their part as the initiator. Sigh...

user1467226227 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:40:53

Basically I can 'hack' the prenup as it means neither of us claims against eachother. That's not massively the issue.

It's just the emotional side which leaves me feeling like I am not really entering into a marriage. More throwing an expensive party.

FetchezLaVache Wed 29-Jun-16 20:41:10

Just to point out that prenups carry a lot more weight since the 2010 ruling, so don't go into it just to appease your O/H on the basis that it'll be unenforceable (not that it sounds like you're inclined to!). Is it possible to get one that will ringfence assets and inheritance, but pool your earnings?

picklypopcorn Wed 29-Jun-16 20:43:55

Them? I can't get my head around this why are you using them instead of he or she? Is the gender of your OH relevent in some way?

FetchezLaVache Wed 29-Jun-16 20:44:53

If you did follow O/H abroad, would you find work quite easily, or would you effectively be giving up your career?

Whocansay Wed 29-Jun-16 20:45:38

He wants you to be entirely at his mercy. There's no way in hell I'd agree to this. It leaves you completely vulnerable if you have children.

I would consider if you really want to marry someone who felt this way. How old are you both?

Daffodil90 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:47:03

You keep saying they. Is this all OH or at his family's insistence?

I think that if they say you don't trust them by wanting clauses to protect yourself and any future children then they are telling you they don't trust you either by setting it up to begin with.

My alarm bells are ringing, I'm not sure I could do this. But that's because I happened to meet DH who at payday gives me every single penny to allocate it where it's needed. If he wasn't like that maybe id be thinking differently.

I think wine and a long think!

FetchezLaVache Wed 29-Jun-16 20:47:15

They don't see any real issues and have simply told me not to give up my job or follow them abroad unless I am totally comfortable with it.

Is there any chance your O/H is getting cold feet and has thrown the prenup into the ring to push YOU to take the fall for calling the wedding off?

user1467226227 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:49:07

We are both mid 30s. If I went abroad it would be very difficult to pick up my career where I left off.

Again, absolutely no intention of putting myself in a financially vulnerable situation and would not be giving up work or going abroad with this prenup in place.

Maidofdishonour Wed 29-Jun-16 20:49:37

There are clearly underlying issues that need to be resolved, but talking about it isn't working. I would suggest that you write him a letter/email explaining how you feel about this and asking him to respond. It might help you both to express your feelings without getting emotional and putting such a strain on your relationship. He possibly feels that a pre-nup is something he should do, or has been advised to do, but he feels guilty which is making him defensive. Good luck!

Twingirlsrock Wed 29-Jun-16 20:50:22

I had a pretty-nup to protect me before we lived together and then married but that was because I had a house and he did not and so I wanted to protect what I had worked really hard for as a single mum on my own and protect my daughters inheritance.

He was ok about it and went fully along with it as my rationale was "why would you want to profit from me and my daughter". Essentially if we split up I was prepared to be heartbroken but not broke.

So I think the "why" really matters.... And you haven't really mentioned why your O/H is saying they want it? I fully agree in protecting what you independently brought into the union but I also agree with you that because the "why" hasn't been agreed on by you both, it feels one sided.

Dependent on why they want it - and since the subject is now on the table - I think it's critical you hold your line and hold onto the compensation on loss of job if there are kids or you move abroad. Essentially either of these situations will dramatically change the partnership and as such cant be covered by the original frame. O/H has put it on the table - I don't see how they can they decree all the terms.

Do you know why they want it?

Twingirlsrock Wed 29-Jun-16 20:51:12

Pre nup not pretty nup!

user1467226227 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:51:31

Thanks Maid. We did the e mail thing last week. Ended in a flaming row and a threat to call off the wedding.

O/H is from a country where keeping assets separate on marriage is considered totally normally. They are surprised I am so offended by the request for a prenup.

user1467226227 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:52:54

They want it because they want to be financially independent and not behold to the possibility of getting smashed for a lump sum or maintanenence in the event of divorce.

PreAdvent13610 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:54:03

Take it or leave it?
You would not be on here if you were happy to take it.

A DH and DW need to trust each other to make it work, trust does seem to be missing here.
Remember life throws the occasional curve ball, what would the situation be if you suddenly became the major bread winner?

user1467226227 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:55:29

Ran that my them advent. What if life throws a curve ball, they can't work and everything is on me.

'In that case I hope I chose wisely enough someone who would support me through thick and thin'. Was the response.

SandyY2K Wed 29-Jun-16 20:55:37

This may not be a typical male female relationship, hence the use of "they". Or the OP is being cautious.

Is there any financial provision for you in the event of a divorce? Of how you are meant to manage after being the childcare provider? Or can you negotiate your OH paying a larger amount toward childcare while you work? Actually you may not find work abroad that easily.

Yeah ... I'd want to back out of the pending marriage. Especially with the take it or leave it attitude from your OH.


Twingirlsrock Wed 29-Jun-16 20:56:14

I would have a massive problem with my DH wanting to be entirely financially independent from me. For me this would be very undermining plus the minute you have kids guess who will end up paying for everything..... You will start having to negotiate all sorts of needs.

I'm sorry but it sounds really odd and would ring alarm bells for me. Sorry.

user1467226227 Wed 29-Jun-16 20:56:56

This is indeed Mumsnet. This is a male / female relationship, but would anyone's views massively change if I revealed I was the man in this scenario?

RavioliOnToast Wed 29-Jun-16 20:58:15

If I were you, I'd call it off. I agree with pp who said to try and ring fence inheritance and assets as they stand now, but to pool together everything else if that is an option.

Honestly though, I wouldn't go through with it. He/she should've talked about this with you before you agreed to marry him/her.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now