Author Topic: What do you think about prenuptial agreements? and other questions. OP pg.7 #93  (Read 4670 times)

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wolfie

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Re: What do you think about prenuptial agreements? and other questions.
« Reply #90 on: May 21, 2014, 11:23:34 AM »
Here, there are three different ways you can declare your marriage:

Joint: everything is thrown into one lump, which is shared 50-50 in case of divorce.

Semi-joint: each keeps what they brought into the marriage, everything after the marriage is lumped together. Defining what each brought into the marriage can be tricky (should those Enron shares be valued at their current value or at their value on the day of the wedding?)

Separate: everything is kept separate, before or after the marriage. This can be a nightmare, actually, if not implemented right in regards to day to day expenses and things like buying a house. Curiously, this is the only form of marriage if you are over 60. By then, you must be senile and have to be legally protected from gold diggers. Did I mention that nearly all of our presidents have been over 60?

After 60 you have other issues too - because of health care concerns. If one person gets sick they can drain everything from both people before help kicks in. I know someone whose husband died of cancer and they were contemplating a divorce just so she wouldn't be destitute after he died - the bills would have been that high.

lady_disdain

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Re: What do you think about prenuptial agreements? and other questions.
« Reply #91 on: May 21, 2014, 12:04:18 PM »
Here, there are three different ways you can declare your marriage:

Joint: everything is thrown into one lump, which is shared 50-50 in case of divorce.

Semi-joint: each keeps what they brought into the marriage, everything after the marriage is lumped together. Defining what each brought into the marriage can be tricky (should those Enron shares be valued at their current value or at their value on the day of the wedding?)

Separate: everything is kept separate, before or after the marriage. This can be a nightmare, actually, if not implemented right in regards to day to day expenses and things like buying a house. Curiously, this is the only form of marriage if you are over 60. By then, you must be senile and have to be legally protected from gold diggers. Did I mention that nearly all of our presidents have been over 60?

After 60 you have other issues too - because of health care concerns. If one person gets sick they can drain everything from both people before help kicks in. I know someone whose husband died of cancer and they were contemplating a divorce just so she wouldn't be destitute after he died - the bills would have been that high.

While it may be wise to keep finances separate, I do think it should be the couple's decision, not the State's. Besides, this does little to protect all the couples who married long before 60 but reached that age and the associated health problems.

Twik

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Re: What do you think about prenuptial agreements? and other questions.
« Reply #92 on: May 21, 2014, 12:16:29 PM »
I like old Roman idea of having the parents work out the prenuptial agreement, leaving the children free not to have to anticipate the end of their relationship just when they are proclaiming it will endure.

Not practical today of course, but it's one reason why marriage is "not just a piece of paper," since it does set out (depending on your location) the standard way goods would be divided in a split (or in case of a death). Deetee has a good point that in areas where common-law marriages are recognized as legal, that means that separating couples would be subject to this standardized treatment as well, which is something of which cohabitors should be aware.

Even in states were common-law marriage is recognized it takes a lot more then just moving in together to make it take effect, otherwise friends who just live together would have those same issues.

Well, I was thinking of a case in Canada, where the judge himself wondered "Will we be left with any way that two people could live together in a long-term romantic relationship, and *not* have it considered common-law?" Because Canada has been moving to a pretty clear idea that such relationships are automatically given common-law protection. I've seen one commentator shrug that marriage wasn't important any more, "because after two years, you're married anyway."

Perhaps this is fair, and avoids exploitation of one partner who believes that "we're just as committed as a married on paper couple," until the other partner kicks them out as a no-longer-wanted houseguest. But it would mean that if the partners do *not* want such a legal relationship, they would have to have a "pre-cohabitation" agreement.
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jpcher

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Thank you all for your extremely interesting and informative points of view. I am very glad that I started this thread.

Things that I have learned:

1. The suggestions for the DDs learning about financial planning were great. I'm not the most knowledgable person when it comes to finances and what to invest in (IRA? 401K? Trust Funds? etc.) So I will look for and find some sort of seminar or info-class type of thing that the DDs and I can attend together.

2. None of the people in my OP have a lot of money nor are they firmly established yet in any kind of career, so the fact that they are pretty much starting out on the same foot tells me that there isn't a real reason for a pre-nup. Thank you, everybody for pointing this out . . . building an "empire" together is a big part of the joy of marriage. Just because the DDs are probably going to inherit a hunk of change doesn't mean that the BFs are going to depend on this windfall for future planning. Who knows? They just might have pride enough in themselves (and it seems that they do) to be frugal enough so that the couple can afford to buy a house on their own. On the flip side, I have no clue as to whether or not the BFs families have money. Maybe they're looking to inherit more than the DDs? But that's none of my business.

3. I agree on this very important point: couples should do their financial discussions before marriage. Should one paycheck be put into savings and use the other on every-day life? Should each person put 1/2 their paycheck into a joint house account and the other half be their own personal money? There are many ways that this can be worked out but the agreement of how finances will be handled should be made before marriage. Of course, any agreement should be pliable enough to cover emergencies, etc. Marriage is, after all, an equal partnership. When the "M" word becomes a permanent subject I will gently ask/coach the DDs that they make sure the finance (along with the "do you want children?" ;)) questions have been discussed.

4. Nope. Not going to do it. I'm not going to tell the DDs that they are probably going to come into some money. Let them forge ahead on their own with their own wits and knowledge that they have earned by themselves.



Again, I thank everybody that posted. Reading this thread was quite a learning experience for me. ;D

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If they (or you) are in a position to put away anything in savings - even a company-run plan or whatnot - then it's a good idea to talk to a financial planner.  (Edward Jones is one company in the US that does this sort of thing; there are plenty of others.)  At least in my experience, it's free to talk to one - they will walk you through your risk tolerance, your budget, your long- and short-term goals, and help you figure out how much money you should be trying to put aside and how it would affect college/retirement/etc. if you do more or less.  They make their money by managing your investments - a commission every time you buy or sell something - but that may not be the first thing they recommend.  Ours actually suggested we keep socking away money in our bank account for quite a while to have several months' worth of expenses before we started funding a college account for the girls.  Even if you're not looking to get into mutual funds right now, though, the advice can be really useful.