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Girlfriend and I begun to talk about marriage. She wants to get a prenup and keep her own name (that's another issue). I believe in the more traditional marriage, woman takes the mans name, and no need for prenup. Her reason is that her parents had a nasty divorce and always argued about finances.

 

I'm not completely closed-minded, but I'm not making a decision without fully understanding what a prenup is. From what the gf describes, it seems all financial related things are kept separate, and when there are expenses that need paying (ie bills, food, vacations, children expenses, mortgage, etc), we contribute equally from our separate financial sources. That to me is not a marriage, but rather, a roommate situation or bf/gf status which is basically what we're already doing now without the kids.

 

Is this true? What happens if one person is a stay-at-home parent?

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I am not sure about where you live but I am reasonably sure that a pre-nup will not extend into your marriage like that. Really all a pre-nup is there for is to protect the financial intertests you came into the marriage with.

 

For example if you own 2 houses and are getting married to someone with no assets, the prenup would attempt to specifiy what her rights or otherwise were in relation to those houses.

 

Income earnt and assets obtained during the marriage are generally seen as products of the marriage with an element of joint ownership.

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Prenup stands for pre-nuptuals or 'before marriage'. And is generally relating to what holdings and assets you have prior to getting married. Although these days, who knows. Its a contact that could potentially be extended into the marriage itself.

 

I agree that what you are describing doesn't sound like a marriage, but some do happen this way these days.

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Besides tradition, just why do we women have to take the man's name (which half the time isn't as nice as ours). Why don't you men take OUR name. Of course, you would lose a good deal of your identity if you did that, but so do we. Do we become property or something? As far as a prenup goes, my bf is a family law attorney and guys without a prenup get taken to the cleaners if and when there is a divorce. She is protecting YOU, because in divorce, the court generally gives the wife mucho bucks. Unless there is a prenup in place, of course. Prenups are legal agreements as to who keeps what in case of a divorce after marriage.

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The wiki link has too much lawyer mumbo jumble for me to understand. But one thing i got from it is simply that a prenup is an agreement you make before getting married. Meaning that its not necessary with regards to assets you gained before marriage, you can also specify to agree on how future assets are split.

 

thejigsup: why does the wife get mucho bucks and not 50/50? With prenup, what happens if one spouse makes significantly more, or if one is stay-at-home and does not directly make money?

 

As for taking the name, I would like to know more about your perspective. I wouldn't mind that she keeps her own name, but I would not take hers. Did you keep your name? What about childrens' last name? Who's do they take?

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Girlfriend and I begun to talk about marriage. She wants to get a prenup and keep her own name (that's another issue). I believe in the more traditional marriage, woman takes the mans name, and no need for prenup. Her reason is that her parents had a nasty divorce and always argued about finances.

 

I'm not completely closed-minded, but I'm not making a decision without fully understanding what a prenup is. From what the gf describes, it seems all financial related things are kept separate, and when there are expenses that need paying (ie bills, food, vacations, children expenses, mortgage, etc), we contribute equally from our separate financial sources. That to me is not a marriage, but rather, a roommate situation or bf/gf status which is basically what we're already doing now without the kids.

 

Is this true? What happens if one person is a stay-at-home parent?

 

 

If you think you need a pre-nup and she's all about her keeping her name, you shouldn't be getting married... that simple.

 

Marriage is about the fusing of two souls(and God) literally within into one... God is the glue that keeps you together in your marriage... and it's a covenant, not a contract... this is not business, which is why there should be no reason for pre-nups. If you want to run a business, where you say -this is yours and -this is mine, you go do that... your marriage will fail because you're shooting it in the foot to begin with by not realizing that everything becomes OURS, not yours and mine. Divorce and pre-nups made this a business, it's not a business, it's a damn life promise unless circumstances are beyond reasonable(meaning someone's cheating or being beaten on, etc.. of that stature)... it gave people an -out- and it's ridiculus what the modern U.S. family has become these days.

 

If you don't agree on finances now, then you won't agree on finances when you're married... you're better off not getting married if you can't agree on that. Theres 4 things people must agree on getting married or it's going to be a rough ride downhill 1) money 2)kids 3) religion/faith 4) in-laws

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The problem is that although the marriage service says 'that which God has joined together let no man put asunder" is that people do put them asunder nonetheless. And that is why people want pre-nups.

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i dont have a pre-nup, but i do have a deed of trust stating that if my fiancee and i split up, the house is mine despite her living there and contributing to the bills/mortgage. she was VERY unhappy about that, but the long and short of it was it was was either that, or she can stay in her own place.

 

prenups and agreements are a very dangerous and touchy subject - and are generally nullified within 2 years due to circumstance changes, relationship development and money grabbing lawyers.

 

also re: the God thing

Marriage doesn't have to be about God all the time, there's such things as civil ceremonies (or other non/pseudo/alternative religious activities for marriage) where the concept is that two people are bound together without reference to God(s)

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i dont have a pre-nup, but i do have a deed of trust stating that if my fiancee and i split up, the house is mine despite her living there and contributing to the bills/mortgage. she was VERY unhappy about that, but the long and short of it was it was was either that, or she can stay in her own place.

 

prenups and agreements are a very dangerous and touchy subject - and are generally nullified within 2 years due to circumstance changes, relationship development and money grabbing lawyers.

 

also re: the God thing

Marriage doesn't have to be about God all the time, there's such things as civil ceremonies (or other non/pseudo/alternative religious activities for marriage) where the concept is that two people are bound together without reference to God(s)

 

Gosh.. I hope you have sought legal advice about whether the trust you've set up would actually preclude her from getting that property in the advent of a divorce? You know equity is trumped by statute. Hopefully the marriage laws in your state won't ruin what you've both set up..

 

I think a pre-nup can be anything you want it to be. It's a contract after all.

 

Personally, I LIKE the fact that if we get divorced we're in for a world of mess and pain financially as we sought out all the assets. It's a reason not to get divorced and keep working on the marriage as far as possible. Maybe I'm being silly here but I think that's a good thing.

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It's funny how love and marriage can be trivialized. One thing I do know is that if and when I ever do find the right woman to marry I'll accept that she keep her maiden name and there will be no pre-nuptial agreement. I know I have a lot that can be taken from me but true love has no contingent financial demands on it for me.

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That's a great romantic way to think but you quickly lose your perspective once you've been burned badly. Did I imagine that I was marrying a monster? Did I think that the man I married was so cold-hearted that he considers me non-existent and dead after I left him? No, I thought I was marrying a wonderful, healthy, loving man. You may say that I didn't get to know him enough before marrying him but we dated for four years before marrying and we were married for 15 years.

 

Even though you may think that we all jumped into marriage without thinking - we didn't. We all think we found the right person at the beginning but people can become extremely cruel when they are hurt and they will not take your feelings into consideration.

 

Every adult human has been burned one way or another. Take me for instance, I'm 39 years old and never married. I've had two chances in the past but I was wise enough to not follow through with it after extensive psychological analysis of their true intent. There are ways to discern a person's true intentions towards another. One just has to approach it from a scientific angle and invest the time and money to get to the true answer. This is why I always want to be friends first with women I find interesting and wisely decide to explore a deeper emotional connection.

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I took my husband's name and at first it felt very weird - especially since I kept my maiden name professionally (because I had had my career for almost 15 years when I married). It was hard because I was 42 when I married and that's a looong time to be known as one name. I was always comfortable - and found it kinda cool - to be able to say I am (his name)'s wife.

One reason I changed my name is because we were expecting a child - I never liked the idea of hyphenating and I wanted my child to have the same name as me. Once I had my son, and changed my name legally for all respects, the name change felt much more natural.

 

As far as prenups I guess a prenup can cover a broad range of categories but I never understood it as covering how you pay expenses while married. I have heard of people having separate accounts and a joint account, where in most cases the separate accounts cannot be taken by the other spouse in the event of a divorce. Same for separate property as long as the other person didn't contribute to the property - renovations, mortgage payments, etc. But I guess laws differ state to state, country to country.

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A prenup doesn't specify how you handle money during your marriage, it can protect what each of you bring to the marriage and it can spell out what will happen if there is a divorce.

 

The operative word is 'if'

 

Having a prenup is not predictive of failure of a marriage any more than not having one will predict its success. It's an insurance policy, nothing more. If you intend to be together forever (which you should, if you are getting married), then it becomes a piece of paper that says, you both entered into the marriage without any intent to just take from the other...

 

People argue the insurance analogy, saying we don't choose to say, be in a car accident, but we choose to divorce. This is not always true. You know the person you are marrying, but it's a well known fact that people do change, and sometimes, in less than desirable ways. If your partner chooses to divorce you in 5-10-15 or even 30 years, there may be nothing you can do to stop it.

 

Go read the divorce forum. Look around at the people you know. You don't have to look far to see someone who's been completely screwed because they didn't get a prenup. It's also been my experience that those who use emotional arguments against prenups, are usually the ones who have the most to gain financially in a divorce.

 

If she wants a prenup, I say go for it. Be sure though, that you have your own lawyer look at it and that you both think what it spells out is fair.

 

I had one. No big deal. I've been married for 15 years now....according to naysayers, I should be divorced.

 

How you handle finances within the marriage, whose name your children will have...these are decision that the two of you must figure out for yourselves. I suggest you come to an agreement on those before you take the plunge, as they can definitely be dealbreakers.

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Let me see if I understand this correctly. You are a man, and your fiance wants a prenup? TAKE IT. Sure, marriage is a fusion of the souls, yadda, yadda, yadda.

 

Ask a guy who was married 15 or 20 years, and whose wife walked, filed for divorce, and was awarded decades of alimony, how he would feel about a prenup.

 

Unless your fiance has a ton of money that you plan on going after somewhere along the way, get a prenup. Absolutely.

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I'd say do it also... I work with half a dozen engineers who have all been divorced and all of which have their financial situations royally F-ED up because their ex's lawyer took them to the cleaners.

 

I'm not a lawyer but my understanding of a pre-nup is exactly as it sounds... it's a prenuptial agreement... aka a legal agreement made before marriage.

 

Basically it can say whatever you want it to say... it's just a contract you put in place before you get married... It seems that most people tend to use it as financial protection if the marriage goes sour. Stereotypically women seem to feel that if a man wants a pre-nup it means they don't fully trust them.

 

Personally, I don't feel I need one but if my fiancee wanted one I wouldn't have any problem with it.

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well, true... however after meeting a few of these lawyers myself I get the impression that they like to put ideas in people's heads to help pad their own pockets. Not that they're all this way but I don't think I could live with myself if I ruined other people's lives for a living.

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^ i completely agree with DropToZero, accept for the God part, I'm not a religious man.

 

 

...I'm not a religious man either. Religion has nothing to do with it to me--God does. Not gonna argue that though, this is just my opinion.

 

Either way complex man, I suggest you two have big talks about the big 4 things you should agree on(if you haven't already). A pre-nup is not just an idea to you, wherever your "traditional marriage" ideas came from, a pre-nup will only end up being a thorn in the marriage because you will always know "who's stuff is who's" in the back of your mind if things go wrong. It basically breeds mis-trust from day one, I'm sorry... there's a reason big famous rich people get them, because they can't trust anyone.

 

As for her not taking your last name... that's also gonna cause issues. I'm not sure what her deal is... but beyond it being a tradition, the point of her taking your name is so you two are one. I'm all for women being independent, but within a marriage, it's about co-dependency and this is a team, not -just- two separate people living together.

 

All I see right now, is 0 for 2 on "we're a team." Two reasons... she wants you to know what's hers(and yours from day one), and why she still wants to keep her name. Just a dealbreaker to me, but it's up to you, find out her reasons for wanting these things. If she has no faith in marriage, that's reasoning to want a pre-nup, and also a reason to not get married.

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......, a pre-nup will only end up being a thorn in the marriage because you will always know "who's stuff is who's" in the back of your mind if things go wrong. It basically breeds mis-trust from day one, .

 

OR, you could just as easily think..."Well, I know I can trust her that she's not just looking for an excuse to leave me and take half my stuff..."

 

It's all in how you choose to perceive it. Neither my spouse nor I have ever felt that having a prenup undermined our marriage...

 

 

As for her not taking your last name... that's also gonna cause issues. I'm not sure what her deal is... but beyond it being a tradition, the point of her taking your name is so you two are one. I'm all for women being independent, but within a marriage, it's about co-dependency and this is a team, not -just- two separate people living together.

 

.

 

??? So because she's not keen on surrendering her identity to his, while he gives up NOTHING, SHE is not a 'team player"?

 

I took DH's name, but that was my choice. If she feels her own identity will be compromised, then she shouldn't do it.

 

The 'team' is about what happens between them, not what the rest of the world thinks happens between them. He should care more about what's important to her than how things will look to others. His ego needs to take a backseat to her sense of self, especially since he is not being asked to give anything up here....

 

Having said that, I do agree that these are important issues that are potentially dealbreakers. But I don't agree with your assessment that they mean she is not committed to the future of the relationship.

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a little off topic, but why is it that without prenups, its the man that gets screwed with alimony. Is it about who works and who doesn't, and typically its the man who works? What if both parties worked and made the approximately the same salary? Is the man still screwed? What if the woman made more money? Does it ever go the other way?

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??? So because she's not keen on surrendering her identity to his, while he gives up NOTHING, SHE is not a 'team player"?

 

I took DH's name, but that was my choice. If she feels her own identity will be compromised, then she shouldn't do it.

 

The 'team' is about what happens between them, not what the rest of the world thinks happens between them. He should care more about what's important to her than how things will look to others. His ego needs to take a backseat to her sense of self, especially since he is not being asked to give anything up here....

 

I never said I won't allow her to keep her name. That is entirely ok with me. But she went as far as saying she wanted me to take hers, and the children should take hers. That I am not ok with. I suggested hyphen, but she insist that in that case her's come first in the hyphen.

 

It just feels like I'm being cut out of the marriage. Or maybe a marriage isn't even what she wants. Since she wants to keep everything seperated, both finances and names, which i think is a big part of marriage, otherwise, its the same as dating. We already live together. So in this case, the only thing marriage accomplishes is a piece of paper, and maybe kids.

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a little off topic, but why is it that without prenups, its the man that gets screwed with alimony. Is it about who works and who doesn't, and typically its the man who works? What if both parties worked and made the approximately the same salary? Is the man still screwed? What if the woman made more money? Does it ever go the other way?

 

Several reasons,

 

1)It is still more often the case that the man makes more money. This means alimony to equalize the income disparity between the two.

 

2) It is still more often the case that the woman (if anyone) gives up her career to stay home with the kids. Once she is established as the 'primary caregiver' she is more likely to get physical custody of the kids. This means child support, on top of the alimony.

 

3) Even if both parents work, the courts still tend to favour the mothers in child custody disputes. The onus to prove that the father is an equal or better option for the child, lies with the man.

 

4) Whoever brings more to the marriage initially, in money, property, whatever, has more to lose without a prenup. This means equalization payments (50/50 split) on not only what you accumulated IN the marriage, but what what you brought into the marriage.

 

It CAN go the other way. If the wife earns more, brings more to the marriage, and/or the husband becomes the primary caretaker of any children.

 

Cautionary tale...

 

A friend of mine owned his house, while his fiance had nothing to her name. Then after they were married,she kept finding reasons to quit her job and/or get fired, so she was mostly unemployed. After she abandoned him & their baby, she still got 1/2 of the house, 1/2 his pension (which he had been accruing for YEARS before they were married) 1/2 the savings and spousal support. He has custody of the child, because she can't look after him. She doesn't work, and so now he pays her and pays for daycare so he can go to work to pay for everything else. She pays no child support.

 

Guess what she said the one time he mentioned a pre-nup?

 

Oh- she is educated/qualified in 4 separate (but related) professions. But still- she doesn't work.

 

Laws vary by state/province. This is why you should have a different lawyer read any agreement before you sign.

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I never said I won't allow her to keep her name. That is entirely ok with me. But she went as far as saying she wanted me to take hers, and the children should take hers. That I am not ok with. I suggested hyphen, but she insist that in that case her's come first in the hyphen.

 

It just feels like I'm being cut out of the marriage. Or maybe a marriage isn't even what she wants. Since she wants to keep everything seperated, both finances and names, which i think is a big part of marriage, otherwise, its the same as dating. We already live together. So in this case, the only thing marriage accomplishes is a piece of paper, and maybe kids.

 

The name thing, I think a hyphen is good compromise. And if you follow the traditional model her name should come first, yours last. If she was willing to hypenate her own name, that's how it would be done.

 

If she's 'Smith' and you're 'Jones', then 'Smith-Jones' is the correct format, traditionally speaking. Look at it this way- you get the last word, so to speak....

 

As for the money issue, can I suggest a compromise?

 

Mine-yours-ours.

 

Have a joint account, that you each contribute your share to cover family expenses (groceries, mortgage, car payments etc.) but your own accounts for your own discretionary spending.

 

Then you can budget for household expenses together, but still be able to save/spend some money of your own without having to discuss it....

 

DH and I did that for years. And it worked well for us.

 

Just a thought.

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