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Prenup or no prenup?

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  • Tim
    replied
    Significant assets or incomes can lead to unintended or intended results.

    “I won't say the words while thinking, well, we'll make a good faith effort, but if things don't work out we'll divorce.”
    Not a universally held belief.

    Assets and incomes figure more heavily in some folks decisions than others. Especially if they have a backup exit plan. Just saying. A prenup defines the intended results.

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  • CM
    replied
    Originally posted by xraygoggles View Post

    Isn't the divorce rate something like 50% in the US? Obviously, what you are saying does not hold for half (or more) of the population.

    Marriage is more than just a romantic agreement - there are many perks the govt gives you for officially being together: retirement benefits (2x Roths & HSAs), Social Security benefits (assuming you are together that long), estate benefits, living will benefits (especially if there is none beforehand), tax benefits (lower marginal rates/more deductions/higher cutoffs for capital gains), etc.
    Your marriage is not a random event. What others do is irrelevant.

    If you and your significant other decide it makes sense to marry rather than live together in order to obtain the gov't benefits of marriage, both understanding that it may not be a permanent arrangement, then it certainly makes sense to prepare a prenup. Two rational, utility-optimizing people might want to do this. As long as both understand that neither is promising a lifelong commitment, that's a good arrangement, but that would be a rare "marriage" indeed.

    I was single for a long time and had a number of relationships. I dated a number of women who wanted to marry me, but if I proposed something like the above it would have landed like a hand grenade with every one. They each wanted a devoted lover committed for life, the same as just about everyone else that I've ever met.

    I'm only writing that I'm not cavalier about a promise. I won't promise to love and care for my spouse til I die unless I know it is true. I won't say the words while thinking, well, we'll make a good faith effort, but if things don't work out we'll divorce. No, if that's the case, we'll just live together until/unless we don't want to any more.

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  • Tim
    replied
    Originally posted by Lordosis View Post

    I thought it was like a nuclear submarine and you have to both turn your keys?
    Not. Anecdotally, usually one party to the contract wants out. They file for divorce, of course with the “advice” of an attorney. Rarely do two people raise their glasses to toast a divorce after a wonderful dinner. “To my lovely soon to be ex-spouse!”

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  • xraygoggles
    replied
    Originally posted by CM View Post

    I'm not old fashioned, and I think that once you've decided that marriage is not a ridiculous institution, i.e., you've decided that you will promise to stay with someone for life, then you have decided that a prenup is a ridiculous idea. The two are inconsistent with one another.

    Marriage isn't necessary. If you aren't sure you will stay with your significant other forever, then don't declare it to him/her, the world, and the government.
    Isn't the divorce rate something like 50% in the US? Obviously, what you are saying does not hold for half (or more) of the population.

    Marriage is more than just a romantic agreement - there are many perks the govt gives you for officially being together: retirement benefits (2x Roths & HSAs), Social Security benefits (assuming you are together that long), estate benefits, living will benefits (especially if there is none beforehand), tax benefits (lower marginal rates/more deductions/higher cutoffs for capital gains), etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lordosis
    replied
    Originally posted by Anne View Post

    You may completely want to abide by your promise no matter what, but if your partner decides one day that they want a divorce, you’re getting a divorce.
    I thought it was like a nuclear submarine and you have to both turn your keys?

    Leave a comment:


  • Anne
    replied
    Originally posted by CM View Post

    I'm not old fashioned, and I think that once you've decided that marriage is not a ridiculous institution, i.e., you've decided that you will promise to stay with someone for life, then you have decided that a prenup is a ridiculous idea. The two are inconsistent with one another.

    Marriage isn't necessary. If you aren't sure you will stay with your significant other forever, then don't declare it to him/her, the world, and the government.
    I agree with you, and did not have a prenup, but will point out that, while you may 100% feel this way and know yourself to the extent that you know this won’t change throughout your lifespan, and your partner may 100% feel that way (or say they do), you have no way of knowing that your partner may change their mind or start to see things differently at some point. You may completely want to abide by your promise no matter what, but if your partner decides one day that they want a divorce, you’re getting a divorce. So I wouldn’t fault anyone for considering/getting a prenup.

    Leave a comment:


  • CM
    replied
    Originally posted by Brains428 View Post
    In terms of your 12 year relationship- there was never a point where you presented yourselves as married out of convenience?
    Not once.

    I suspect that an important impetus for many marriages is social expectation and convenience.

    It would have been more convenient to be married in a number of situations during those 12 years, but I couldn't make the promise and know that I would keep it, so I didn't make it.

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  • Brains428
    replied
    It's insurance. Nobody wants their life insurance to pay out, and nobody wants to get divorced.

    In terms of your 12 year relationship- there was never a point where you presented yourselves as married out of convenience? The discerning thing, in my opinion, would be having an account together, or it reflecting on taxes in someway.

    By the way, while I'm in the camp that it's okay to get a prenup, I don't disagree with your thesis that it is hypocritical.

    Leave a comment:


  • CM
    replied
    Originally posted by Brains428 View Post
    @CM Common law marriage still exists. From what I've read, in states where you can have this, you still have to undergo normal divorce proceedings.
    You can't accidentally become married by living together. Common law marriage requires that you intend to be married, albeit without a formal ceremony, and that you hold yourself out to the world as husband and wife, and that you live in one of the 10 states that recognize it:

    https://www.findlaw.com/family/marri...-marriage.html

    I lived happily with a woman for > 12 years without marriage. We're friends now, 18 years after our amicable split.

    It is no skin off my nose if anyone else decides to create a prenup (have at it), but I could never stand in front of the woman I love and promise to love and care for her until I die, while simultaneously asking her to sign documents to handle our break-up.

    That has nothing to do with marriage, per se. It has to do with integrity and the meaning of a promise. I don't make many. I keep the ones that I make.



    Leave a comment:


  • Brains428
    replied
    @CM Common law marriage still exists. From what I've read, in states where you can have this, you still have to undergo normal divorce proceedings. I'm guessing assets are treated as they are in regular marriage, but that's an assumption.

    My take on many things regarding the law- we wouldn't need lawyers if people were reasonable to each other. Unfortunately, people aren't, so we need third party arbiters to tell us what's fair and unfair.

    Leave a comment:


  • toothed
    replied
    Congrats on planning your marriage!

    I was hesitant to get one but I decided to so I could protect my practice in the future (yes this is legal) If you plan to open your own practice, you can put it in the prenup. I’ve seen messy divorces where the partner takes half the practice.

    Gets even messier if it’s a group.

    Leave a comment:


  • CM
    replied
    Originally posted by G View Post

    While I hesitate to disagree with my internet friend, CM, I would take the approach that every business needs an exit plan.
    If it's a business arrangement you can accomplish most of a marriage contract with legal documents that don't include marriage.

    Maybe you can write your own vows that don't include a promise for life. But my understanding of marriage includes a vow to stay together through thick and thin for life. That's a big deal. That's why I didn't marry til 56 (and thought I would never marry); I was never able to make that promise and believe it.

    But whatever works for others. If a prenup helps someone to have a happy life then I'm all for it -- for them.

    Leave a comment:


  • pistolpete
    replied
    Originally posted by CM View Post

    I'm not old fashioned, and I think that once you've decided that marriage is not a ridiculous institution, i.e., you've decided that you will promise to stay with someone for life, then you have decided that a prenup is a ridiculous idea. The two are inconsistent with one another.

    Marriage isn't necessary. If you aren't sure you will stay with your significant other forever, then don't declare it to him/her, the world, and the government.
    I second this.

    Leave a comment:


  • G
    replied
    Originally posted by burritos View Post
    Here in socal, my employer paid whatever settlement they agreed upon divorced 20 years ago. His business continued to grow. The ex(who doesn’t work)15 years later came back for more. The judge came back with rationale was that when they married the financial commitment was for life. So he granted her more.
    California....

    OP, I would say yes. If nothing else, it makes you guys talk about some important issues. While I hesitate to disagree with my internet friend, CM, I would take the approach that every business needs an exit plan.

    Who knows, maybe your SO has a handful of BTC, and since they will soon be worth 7 figures each (on good authority from the 20 yo ER tech just last week), s/he may have a pony in the race already.

    Leave a comment:


  • burritos
    replied
    Originally posted by SerrateAndDominate View Post

    Based on my sister's divorce settlement, yes
    Here in socal, my employer paid whatever settlement they agreed upon divorced 20 years ago. His business continued to grow. The ex(who doesn’t work)15 years later came back for more. The judge came back with rationale was that when they married the financial commitment was for life. So he granted her more.

    Leave a comment:

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