Taboo subject: The Pre-Nup

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Postby plonkee » Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:35 am

Oooh. This is a great topic.
According to

In the United Kingdom, pre-nuptial agreements currently have no legal standing. The divorce courts have the last word in the division of all matrimonial property and would ignore any pre-nuptial agreement if they thought that it was in any way unreasonable to either of the parties involved, particularly regarding to the maintenance and housing of children.

To me this is a good solution (not that I'm biased). A non-binding, this is how we meant to do things when we were both trying to be fair and reasonable to the other party sort of agreement.

I don't think that in general having or not having a pre-nup affects how well the marriage turns out, but your attitude to it does. If you aren't having a pre-nup just because you think that'll make you more likely to divorce, you're probably not very sure of your marriage in the first place.[/url]
In mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them. John von Neumann

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Postby Angie » Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:44 am

Tinyhands, I live in a community property state (Washington). My understanding is that the scenario you described is the legal standard for my state. Anything you brought into your marriage is yours should the marriage dissolve, and the finances of the family are equally the responsibility of both partners during the marriage.

About separate finances, my husband and I have individual bank accounts, retirement accounts, and credit cards. We also have one joint account and I have a card linked to one of his credit lines, though I never use it in practice. Most of our regular finances are conducted through our individual accounts, by mutual agreement. Mortgage and utility payments and a few other big household expenses go through the joint acct. We also have total transparency--we each have the others' passwords and stuff, so either of us could get into/transfer money from any account. I don't know how other folks do it, but this works very well for us.

Pinkiesngr, maybe the singer should have had a prenup specifying that her husband shouldn't screw her secretary. What's the likelihood that a spouse will honor the financial aspects of an agreement if they won't honor what is typically a fundamental expectation of marriage, that of sexual fidelity?

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Postby desertjim » Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:31 pm

I agree with Tinyhands about getting back what you went into the relationship with. I know that without one this is not always the case(Assets can become commingled and at divorce time might not go to the original owner). A marriage takes two people. But, a divorce only takes one. This is why I respectfully disagree with Angie's view on prenups. And feel it is a bit archaic. Times have changed.

Courts determine child support. It cannot be predetermined with a prenup at least in California.

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Postby tinyhands » Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:31 am

Texas is also a community property state but, to my knowledge, without either a pre-nup or some good lawyering everything usually gets split 50/50 including individual assets.

At the beginning of the discussion I was truly on the fence. Now I'm kind of leaning towards having one next time around.

Angie, re: separate accounts
The transparency you both believe you have may give you the feeling of protection (which I admit is very important) but why have separate accounts at all? Wouldn't it be simpler to receive half as many statements each month? I don't know about your bank, but mine has higher interest rates and lower fees based on the amount of money on deposit.

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Postby Siobhan » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:22 am

Angie wrote:Dude, if you are <b>making a concrete plan to get divorced</b> then you are not fully committed to a lifetime relationship. Save yourself the hassle and don't get married in the first place.

We didn't get a prenup, either, but I think that's an inaccurate description. I have both health and life insurance, but I am not "planning" to be destructive to my health or die anytime soon. But adults plan for the worst, and a pre-nup is one way of doing that.

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