Ask the Readers: About the Time I asked Mrs. 1500 for a Prenup (and a giveaway)

Hi there, Mrs. 1500 today.

Mrs. 1500 and I share our dinosaurs. And our finances.

Last week, I asked you if you combined finances with your spouse/partner, or if you kept them separate.

I have my own thoughts on this subject, but I’ve been feeling super-judgy lately, and was really really glad I asked this question. Mrs. Picky Pincher summed up my feelings after reading your responses pretty well,

…But now I understand that all couples work differently. Different strokes for different folks; some people prefer the security of separate accounts. …

I was able to see the other side of the fence from the conversation between The Mad Fientist and his wife in their recent podcast where he interviewed her. She makes a lot of money, and enjoys spending a lot of money – at least in the beginning.

She now sees the power of being Financially Independent, and while she still loves her job and loves to work, she also loves being on vacation, and FI allows her to do that when she chooses, and for how long she pleases.

Holy Cow did you all have something to say about this question. I don’t think we’ve ever had a more popular Ask The Readers Question!

And it didn’t seem weighted toward one side or the other, you are about 50/50 for sharing or not.

Some of you do it because of independent personalities or because you had been living on your own for a long time.

Mrs. S from Royally Frugal:

When we got married we started with separate finances. I have strong fear of not having my own money. Before getting married I was quite independent and we always split every single expense in half. As married life progressed … almost all of our investment is in a single shared account….

I wonder where this strong fear of not having her own money stems from? Did she see a loved one struggle? My best friend in 8th grade’s father left her mother, and it wasn’t financially pretty.

Freedom 40 Guy was the first of many to make a great point:

Mrs. Freedom 40 and I are both pretty independent people and we’d both been living on our own for years before we got married, so totally combining everything just didn’t make much sense to either of us. Over time, we’ve slowly merged some things, but we still each maintain separate checking and savings accounts. … I think the most important thing we do that makes it all work is to keep those lines of communication open!

Reader Jacq said:

I dated a guy for 7 years when I was in my 20’s and he was very bad with money, so I have baggage from that.

There were some special circumstances, like Mustard Seed Money, who said:

My wife is a stay at home mom so she can care for our son and her special needs sister. So since this is the case we definitely combined our finances together right when we got married.

Reader Amy added:

When we married, I became a stay-at-home mom to his 3 kids (none of my own) and he had a pretty high income. I put a few hundred thousand $$s into the downpayment of our home (to avoid PMI extra fees) and he paid the mortgage and all bills.

Maintaining different accounts takes no extra effort and keeps the peace. Also, in case we die together, we have different wishes for our money.

John from Debt Free Guys wanted to make sure his husband’s unsupportive family didn’t question or challenge the finances if something happened to him (before gay marriage was legalized in his state):

My husband, David, and I combined our finances pretty quickly after we moved in together. Initially, we opened a joint account for common bills and each had our own accounts for individual expenses. By the time we bought a home together five years later, our finances were completely merged. We did this because, at the time, same-sex marriage wasn’t legal and David’s family is very unsupportive. We didn’t want there to be any questions of who owned what and whose was whose if anything would’ve happened to David. Consequently, we’re beneficiaries on each other’s retirement accounts and have all our legal documents in order: joint tenancy, DPOAs, living wills, etc. For our own security, it was the best thing to do. Thirteen years later, we leave it as is because the system works for us. I do see why some couples keep assets separate and say to each their own.

Those of you who are not yet married chimed in too. Reader Samantha:

My girlfriend and I live together and talk about this subject often. We do not combine accounts, but she is happy giving me some money every month to cover her half of the groceries and utilities. I imagine when we are married, we will get a joint account to cover bills, and have separate savings.

Smart Provisions:

I’m still single, so I’m not sure what will really happen. But if I did have a significant other, I will say that our finances will most likely be combined.

Divnomics could actually be Mr. 1500 in disguise.

We were, like many, already on the same page when it comes to money. We also had (and still have) a big wage gap, but this doesn’t have any impact in how we save or spend our money. Everything comes in on one big pile of money.

We joke when we get an unexpected check in the mail:

Throw it on the pile.

(Oh goodness that sounds so snotty.)

Nomads with a Vision:

My wife and I have always combined our finances. It generally works like this: I earn, she spends. Ha! Well, ok, so she does a fantastic job homeschooling our children, managing our day-to-day finances and being a wonderful, amazing partner in life. There is no way I would be this far along the road to FI without her.

I thought that was kind of funny and so close to our life. As a stay at home mom, I wasn’t bringing in much. I also went grocery shopping, and clothes shopping and school supply shopping and all the other shopping, while Mr. 1500 worked. So he made it and I spent it.

Mr. 1500 and I just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. Today though, he’d like to tell you about a question he asked me before we got married. Take over husband.

About the Time I asked Mrs. 1500 for a prenup

The time to plan for a disaster is before it happens. No one counts on dying young, a fried hard drive or a dead car battery. This is why we buy life insurance, backup our computers and carry around jumper cables respectively.

The same applies to marriage. No one goes into it counting on divorce, yet it happens to many of us. I’ve always thought that prenuptial agreements are a good idea.

When Mrs. 1500 and I were planning our marriage, I told her that I thought we should get a prenuptial agreement. She didn’t take the request well:

madwife

The words that quickly and furiously escaped her mouth went something like this:

I THINK THAT IS A HORRIBLE IDEA! DON’T YOU THINK THE MARRIAGE WILL LAST? PRENUPS ASSUME THAT WE’RE GOING TO FAIL! IF YOU THINK THAT WE’RE GOING TO FAIL, MAYBE WE SHOULDN’T GET MARRIED!!!

And I was like this:

Me

I dropped it and didn’t dare bring it up again for fear Mrs. 1500 would dismember a cherished body part while I slept. (Mrs. 1500 note: I probably would have…)

Thankfully, our marriage is strong 15 years later. Mrs. 1500 goes along with my White Castle dates and I go along with her occasional craziness. Life is good.

How about you Readers:

  • If you’re married did you get or consider a prenuptial agreement? Why or why not?
  • If you’re not married, will you attempt to ask your spouse for one (make sure there aren’t any sharp objects nearby)?

 

One other thing: I’m giving away copies of The Simple Path to Wealth, the book I recommend to anyone who asks how to invest. All you have to do is sign up for my email list (scroll down a little bit more for the signup form). If you’re already signed up, you’re already entered. Over the weekend, I’ll pick three random folks from the list to receive the book. I’ll also throw in an adorable Microsaur. Because I love you.

Microsaurs

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55 Responses to Ask the Readers: About the Time I asked Mrs. 1500 for a Prenup (and a giveaway)

  1. Single lady here. I will absolutely expect to sign a prenup. I have worked very hard to get where I am today. In my age group, I’m definitely in the top 5%. Finding a guy with equal status is doable, but difficult. So to protect myself, a prenup will be signed. Pre-marital assets go with their person, anything in the marriage is split 50/50 or in someway that makes it even. I, Vigilante has some great ideas on his post about prenups.
    Gwen @ Fiery Millennials recently posted…Recap: Camp Mustache SE 2017My Profile

  2. Married mother of 3- no prenup here. When we got married we were both about equal financially. I was only 21, hadn’t finished college, and only had a small amount of savings. So it wouldn’t have made sense at that time

    If I were marrying now in my mid-30’s the answer would be a definitive YES, I would insist on a prenup. So I think it partially depends on where you are in life, how much in assets you have, and whether your earning power is roughly equal (or not)

  3. steve poling says:

    I thank my lucky stars that my dad had a prenup when he remarried. I regard my step-mother fondly, but administering his estate is hard enough with just my siblings without the extra drama of adding step-brothers and step-sisters. If partners are entering the union with distinct sets of heirs, you want something that clearly states this is mine and it goes here, that is yours and it goes there.

  4. No prenuptial here and no discussion thereof. We came in as roughly financial equals on the networth front. It was obvious I would stay the higher income earner due to my ambitions and career path, but honestly choices like raising kids asastay at home mom make that comparison irrelevant. Had I been significantly ahead financially I might have considerd it, but being in a similar place why bother?

  5. Haha! I love your wife’s reaction to hearing “Prenup”. The thought had never really crossed my mind when I was marrying my wife, mainly because I didn’t really have any money. What was she going to do? Take half of nothing? I do agree though, in some situations, prenups are a really wise decision. Great article.
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…Guest Post: Debt Free StoryMy Profile

    • Thanks MSM! Yes, the Mrs. was most unhappy that I’d even suggest such a think. Luckily, it all worked out.

    • Prenups can help with determining the allocation as assets accumulated during the marriage, too! And its not too late for an antenuptial…although don’t come to me for advice on how to broach that topic without suspicion 😮
      The Vigilante recently posted…Track My Progress – The Million Dollar Club Pledge!My Profile

      • Ashley says:

        I’ve heard prenups pertaining to previously earned money get disregarded by divorce courts an awful lot (which I think is unfair). I’ve also heard that anything pertaining to allocation of assets accumulated as a couple are particularly prone to getting tossed by the judge (which I think makes sense, see below). I don’t have anything more than anecdotal sources for this though – have you heard anything similar?

        If you think about it, marriage has always had economic ramifications, which is why so many cultures gave families the power over young people’s marriage rather than the couples themselves. Even in cultures that revere the love-marriage, the government and/or society has a vested stake in knowing how a unit of “money ownership” amasses and spends its money. The family structure demands division of labor, often child rearing, and even more often an unbalanced degree of professional and/or health sacrifice. This structure dictates that the unit of money ownership is the married couple rather than the individual, so as to prevent an influx of impoverished people (note: this clearly isn’t working in today’s legal system where a contentious divorce costs $30,000, not counting lost investment potential).

        I would have signed a prenup regarding my husband’s previously amassed money. I would not have signed a prenup for future money earned while we are married. It gets a little murky if I consider a prenup for the interest/appreciation generated from his previous money (because as an equal “money owner,” I would have something to do with that money being able to stay in investments rather that liquidated and spent).

        In our case, our net worths were almost the same, so we didn’t do a prenup at all.

        ***The website CommentLuv links to is my husband’s, since my blog isn’t finance related at all***

        • Disregard what you’ve heard from friends or family members who had or knew someone who had a prenup thrown out. There are too many possible miscommunications, like a big game of telephone.

          If a prenup is prepared by attorneys representing each party, it is very likely to be enforced. Enforceability of a prenup varies by state, although most states have extremely similar requirements because they have adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (or at least based their laws heavily on it). Many prenups prepared without attorneys are missing one or another of the simple requirements that a prenup in the state requires, such as a full financial disclosure. If you don’t cross your T’s and dot your I’s, it’s very easy to have a prenup ignored.

          Also, general contract law applies, so the agreement can’t be unconscionable and leave one party destitute while the other is well off. That’s where your “unbalanced degree of professional and/or health sacrifice” comes in. But generally, it must be pretty severe to be thrown out! Like other contracts, the law will allow you to enter into a “bad deal” and enforce it against you; but if it’s life-threateningly bad, like if you’ve given all of your assets to your ex-spouse and you have no personal savings, Social Security, etc. at 60 years old, than sure, the Court might throw it out.

          If I may, I’d suggest reading my “Marriage and Divorce” category posts on my blog. I cover this topic pretty extensively, since I strongly believe the FI community should be talking about prenups since our lifestyle choices are unusual and therefore not well served by general divorce laws.

          http://www.ivigilante.com/category/marriage-and-divorce/
          The Vigilante recently posted…Track My Progress – The Million Dollar Club Pledge!My Profile

          • Ashley says:

            I read them all! So great – thank you so much! It’s a very informative series. I especially appreciated your foundational point about how the law is NOT written for financially independent people, but rather for people who spend everything they earn (I believe you termed them “normies” haha).

            On another note, I am glad you got married to Mrs. Vigilante! Marriage rocks 😉 Hopefully all the horror stories you witness via your profession will inspire you to protect your marriage in every way! I’ve committed to taking all appropriate action to make sure Mr & myself continue to enjoy each other for the rest of our lives – I wish the same for you.

            *As always, the blog CommentLuv pulls is my husband’s, not mine, as my blog is not finance-based at all *

      • Ashley says:

        PS – Not sure if my last post actually posted, but I wanted to add that Vigilante, you are far more of an expert than I in these matters, so I hope you feel free to correct any conclusions and fact-check what I said!

        As always, the blog CommentLuv pulls is my husband’s, not mine, as my blog is not finance-based at all 🙂

  6. Jeff from Jersey says:

    We have been married for 10 years at this point, and have a three year old son. Before we got married we dated for about 7 years, so we knew each other pretty well. While I am from a divorced family, never thought about needing to have a pre-nup.

    We met senior year in college and neither of us had any source of monetary value, besides our meager bank accounts. On Sunday’s in college for dinner (and sometimes lunch as well), she was willing to go to Taco Bell for $0.39/crispy taco night. I knew that if she was willing to put up with cheap date nights like that, money was not going to be a problem in our relationship.

    • “…she was willing to go to Taco Bell for $0.39/crispy taco night.”

      Ha ha, awesome!

      I still think prenups are a good idea though and here’s why. Most people probably get divorced for bad reasons (got married to early, infidelity, etc.), but I believe that in some cases, one or both people just evolve. Years later, they may not be the same fit that they once were. So in this case, no one is at fault.

  7. I’m not married but my GF and I have discussed if we were to get married, we’d get a prenup more likely than not. Mainly because it’s much better to lay out terms while you’re in love, calm, cool, and collected, rather than a situation where you probably aren’t using your best judgment.

    Getting a prenup does not mean you plan to fail. It just means you plan to figure things out ahead of time. We all know family and/or friends that have had messy, messy divorces. I think this just helps in making the process much smoother if something were to happen.
    Fervent Finance recently posted…Time, the Ultimate CommodityMy Profile

  8. A prenup (or even talking about one) definitely sends the message that divorce might be a real possibility…and that’s not going to be a terribly popular conversation topic.

    That would certainly be Mrs. Tako’s reaction if I had ever brought it up.

    But most of us aren’t move stars, and aren’t bringing a significant amount of wealth into a marriage that needs protecting.

    Have the 1500’s been holding out on us about their true wealth? Why would a prenup be necessary?
    Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes recently posted…6 Ways to Feel Better About Not SavingMy Profile

  9. Mrs. BITA says:

    Mr. BITA and I earn in the same range, but I am older than he is and I came into the marriage with more assets. We don’t have a prenup and never considered one. Part of it is social, I think. I know nobody who has a prenup. The other part is just the irrational part of my brain going ‘nope’. I understand why a prenup is a sensible thing. I do. But I would never ask for one nor sign one myself. No matter what my brain says, it continues to feel wrong. Maybe I’d feel differently if I was getting married now, with my current net worth, and my husband to be was a starving artist. Hopefully I never have to find out.

  10. Mrs PoP says:

    I briefly asked Mr PoP if he wanted a prenup before we got married, but he said he didn’t think it was necessary and honestly he was right. Our debts and assets were pretty similar, and by that I mean small-ish on both fronts. Everything we’d build in marriage would be community property anyhow, so why bother with an extra legal agreement.

    • You are exempt from this discussion because after having met you as a couple, you’re the most well adjusted people on earth. Have you ever disagreed? 🙂

  11. This is neat! I like seeing all the reasons couples prefer to have separate finances. Again, it’s all about finding what works best for you–let people judge, it doesn’t matter at the end of the day.

    A prenup was never on the table for Mr. Picky Pincher and I. I guess I’m old-fashioned or naive, but I also felt that a prenup was going into a marriage feeling it was doomed from the start. I know many loving couples have prenups, but I can’t help that’s how it made me feel. In fact, I’m the higher earner in our marriage, so a prenup would have been “better” for me in the event of a divorce, but I just don’t work that way. It’s risky, I know, but a prenup would have made me seriously suspicious.

    P.S. Holy cow those Microsaurs are adorable. I see you’re meeting that 2017 goal of including more dinosaurs on the blog. I love it. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What A Frugal Weekend!My Profile

  12. I think in the day and age where divorces are accounting for the same number of marriages that succeed, prenups make sense.

    I was young and naive when Mrs. R2R and I got together 17 years ago (married for 10). I don’t think our marriage is going to go to the wayside (knock on wood!!), but if I had to do it all over again, I would still consider it… not just to protect me, but to protect her as well.

    — Jim
    Jim @ Route To Retire recently posted…Why I Ended My Costco MembershipMy Profile

  13. Jax says:

    Mr. Beach Life and I aren’t married, but have agreed on a pre-nup should we ever decided to get married. I inherited a good amount before we began our relationship and stand to inherit even more. Mr. BL will also inherit, plus he has a kid from a previous relationship and I would want him protected in the event that Mr. BL and I parted ways.

    But, before we have taken new steps in our relationship we’ve always discussed what would happen if the relationship ended. Who would stay in the house, who would keep the cat, what would be owed to who. I don’t think many people get married thinking “one day I will divorce you” and yet the divorce rate remains pretty high (though lower than the 50% we’ve been told.) It makes sense to hash these things out when emotions aren’t as high and is also a lot cheaper. Why chance giving your hard earned money away to lawyers?

    • “Why chance giving your hard earned money away to lawyers?” Yep, they’re the big winners in divorces.

      It sounds like you and Mr. Beach Life have top notch communication skills and are very well adjusted. Congratulations on finding each other and staying rational!

  14. Jacq says:

    As I said in the post last week, I’ll be asking for a pre-nup. I’m single and have worked hard to build my retirement & other assets. In my story from last week a friend was forced to disburse her 401k, pay the taxes and then give 1/2 to her soon to be ex husband (with the bonus bummer of not having those funds continue to grow tax free!).
    My parents have both expressed that they plan to live ‘something’ to my siblings and I. I’d rather they live to 150 and spend it all, but the reality is that well invested assets means an inheritance at some point. As I continue to get older every year ( I have not found the age reversal potion yet!), I’m building a greater percentage of time without “future spouse”. Because I also haven’t met them yet, I don’t know them to trust them.

    I’ve also seen / heard stories of couples who want an amicable split, but their friends & family, and / or lawyer tell them so often that they start to believe it “You deserve half” or “You’re not in love with them any more, go after him/her for everything you can get”.
    My mom has a cabin, on a property with about 20 other summer homes (cabins, RV’s trailers). There was an accident – a woman backed her car into children, knocking them into a campfire. The parents sued not just the woman but the owner of the property. I heard through the rumor mill that the lawyer said, ‘well his insurance will take care of it’. Only then his insurance premium spiked, and he got scared of anything else happening. The people who sued are like 2nd cousins of the property owner too. Hence my distrust, and desire to have things squared away from the start.

    I like what Fervent Finance said about laying out terms when you’re feeling the love, vs when you may be hurting later. It is like insurance, you hope you never need it, but you have it, just in case.

    p.s. The adorable Microsaurs really are adorable!

  15. Haha, I’m just here for the graphics. You were able to capture so much emotion, and it appears to ring true. Did you use MS paint?

  16. Leigh says:

    My husband and I have a postnuptial agreement because we eloped for personal reasons. The main point of the document to us is to handle the condo equity for when we go to sell it because I owned about 75% of it before we got married. We also wanted some time to be able to figure out what we wanted to do with our money slowly rather than having to follow our state’s laws. Ours treats all money titled separately as separate and all jointly titled money as joint. So if we wanted to start pooling money entirely at any point, all we need to do is deposit our incomes into a joint account. That said, we have combined far more things since we got married than we did before. We opened up a Donor Advised Fund and we are both choosing how to disperse the money even though we put different amounts in. Even though I own our current car we would buy a replacement car together. We’ve closed some extra accounts and joined others. We have a joint budget that we created to cover joint expenses out of a joint checking account. We have a plan towards fully joint ownership of the condo in which we live. We have the same asset allocations for our investments. We just like making decisions slowly 😉

    I agree with the others that a prenup is silly if you come to a marriage with either very little in assets, similar assets, no children yet, or you plan on one of you being a stay at home parent. If you have different levels of premarital assets or already have children though, a prenup is a great way to list out your assets and make sure they are recorded and documented and known about.

  17. The Roamer says:

    I believe we did discuss it briefly but that is because we choose to do premarital counseling. Which I highly recommend to all you single or still unmarried people.

    We both had debt but mine was bigger and we both had assets. I believe the assets where similar. I don’t remember discussing it in too much depth. I think I was the one to bring it up and I think it was dismissed rather quickly because of the implications that it means we could divorce. Which like waa said is not what you go into a marriage thinking about.
    We spent more time talking about whose responsibility the debts were. I am a proud person so I wanted to pay my debts all on my own but in the end we combined the majority of our finances and it just made more sense to obliterate it.

  18. No prenup here, although I briefly considered it. When I read up on it, realizing that neither one of us brought any significant assets into the relationship, I let it go.

    iVigilante, a family lawyer and FIRE aficionado believes in them, though as he explained in humorous detail: http://www.physicianonfire.com/divorcecourt/

    Cheers!
    -PoF
    PhysicianOnFIRE recently posted…The Sunday Best (1/22/2017)My Profile

  19. Great graphics, haha!

    I’m still leaning towards combining my finances as stated in my last post/reply. But I’ll be open to having a prenup if the differences in my future SO’s and my finances or spending habits are too drastic.

    Definitely worth some serious consideration once I get to that point in life. 🙂

  20. Chrissy says:

    It would have been hilarious to have a pre-nup. We were 23 and moved from school into our first apartment with about $100. It took us about 6 months to pay off less than $1k on his credit card. There wasn’t any money to protect.

    HOWEVER, his dad was convinced from the first day he heard of my existence (the husband and I were 15 at the time) that I was just after my DH’s money. CONVINCED. 😂😂😂 So, he might have wanted a pre-nup.

    • “HOWEVER, his dad was convinced from the first day he heard of my existence (the husband and I were 15 at the time) that I was just after my DH’s money.”

      Oh my, I hope things are better now. #uncomfortable

      • Chrissy says:

        Yeaaah. My FIL is a unique man. He likes me now because I am a good mom (his words) and probably honest (also his words). Whatever, dude.

  21. Mrs. Groovy says:

    We didn’t consider a prenup at all. We were both equally broke. I’m glad for the sake of your marriage that you dropped the subject. Love the art work!
    Mrs. Groovy recently posted…I’m Not a Bum, I’m a Human BeingMy Profile

  22. Like many of the other comments, Mrs. Need2Save and I were married at 23 with no significant assets or debts. The concept of separation or divorce was never on our minds. We’ve been married for 20 years now and she’s still ‘my girl’ as Forrest Gump would say.
    Mr. Need2save recently posted…The Evolution of the Emergency Fund // From Kiddie Pool to Olympic SwimmerMy Profile

  23. Mr. Zero says:

    Like many others that commented, a prenup never crossed our minds. Half of Zero is Zero.. hehehe

    I did however come off with a doozy while on our honeymoon drive to Key West. We were talking about having children… something we had discussed before and agreed we both wanted.

    Me: Don’t you think it would be a good idea to wait a few years to have kids. You know, just to make sure we are solid.

    Mrs. Zero: [laser beam eyes through the side of my skull while I drove]. WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY? I can’t believe you just said that to your wife of 18 hours!

    Me: Uh, well, cough, cough, ummm……. hey, I see a sign for a DQ up ahead. Want to stop for ice cream?

    To me (engineer) it was a perfectly logical thought to have and completely without any consideration for emotion.

    To my wife it was a napalm bomb setting our fairy tale love story in flames.

    After nearly 20 years of marriage and three awesome kids, I am much smarter now. 🙂

    • Oh my this is awesome (for you and I at least):

      To me (engineer) it was a perfectly logical thought to have and completely without any consideration for emotion.

      To my wife it was a napalm bomb setting our fairy tale love story in flames.

  24. Fred Silva says:

    We have a prenup. Since the beginning of the relationship I advocated it. When we were ready to move in together, their parents were hard divorcing after 25 years of marriage, so that paved the way. We have financials completely apart. I have condo, she has a condo and we have together a
    building sit for a house. No mortgage, no debt. Transparency is the key 🙂

  25. 1. Microsaurs are awesome. They remind me of the Land Before Time 😀

    2. I was all for a pre-nup because I worked DANG hard to earn the assets I’d earned. By the time that we finally decided to marry, though, my assets vs his assets and liabilities were about equal, so it seemed to make sense to let it go.

    I don’t know how PiC would have felt about my asking for one, but mellow dude that he is that accepts my awesomeness, he would probably have been ok with it. I think. I should ask!
    Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life recently posted…Fundamental irreconcilable(?) differences on moneyMy Profile

  26. Never seriously considered a prenup, but did try to convince Mrs. Freedom 40 to just not get married at all. Because of our financial situation, we suffered a pretty substantial marriage penalty in terms of taxes. In fact, we still suffer from this today. I figured we could continue to live together, hang out, yada yada, but just not get married.

    She didn’t think that was such a good idea. At all.

    So, we got married and last fall we celebrated 5 happy years together!
    Freedom 40 Plan recently posted…How to Turn a 30 Year Mortgage Into a 15 Year MortgageMy Profile

  27. My wife and I never even considered a pre-nup, we combined accounts right away (I even did some investing for her while we were engaged). We talk about our finances and try to remember the difference between a need and a want, while also being sure to discuss large purchases. We were on fairly equal footing starting out, but I always felt once we got married, what’s mine is her’s and her’s is mine! This was a interesting post and discussion, I found the results a bit surprising.
    Gentleman of Leisure recently posted…No Limit IRA accounts – Here’s HowMy Profile

  28. Jason says:

    We wouldn’t have really done a prenup. ALthough i had more substantial savings than my wife it never really entered my head. If I had a lot more it might be different, but I try to take the mentality that it is OUR money and I expect to be with her for the rest of my days. I hope.

  29. ***Warning: This is an unpopular opinion from an unpopular but relevant profession – divorce attorney!***

    I’ve been browsing the comment section here since my recent post about my prenup was linked to above (thanks again, Gwen!), and there are two recurring themes that I feel desperately need to be addressed for readers who might get the wrong idea.

    (1) The “I didn’t get a prenup because I didn’t have significant assets.”

    While that is an understandable reason for a prenup to have just not crossed your mind, if you – like many others – are under the impression that a prenup can affect only premarital assets, you need to read this comment! Prenups can address so much more than just assets you bring in to the marriage: they can also help allocate assets acquired during the marriage, growth in the value of premarital assets, spousal support, alimony, and even each spouse’s promises regarding flexibility in estate planning to, for instance, ensure that children from a prior marriage will have rights to more of the parent’s estate than they otherwise might due to spousal rights.

    (2) The “I didn’t get a prenup because we combined our finances completely and we hope to stay together/didn’t want to bet on divorce.”

    That’s an understandable emotion to feel, but it sort of misses the point. Marriage is not a purely emotional decision, but rather primarily a financial and legal one. After all, you can be together and share every aspect of your life without a marriage certificate; but marriage immediately changes your relationship to one another in the eyes of the state.

    You can easily sign a prenup with any terms and still live your lives as a team. People do that every day! I’m of the opinion that it’s kind of foolish not to combine everything and work as a team, but that’s only an opinion. And in keeping with that opinion that Mrs. Vigilante and I share, we have a prenup that’s not “what’s mine is mine” at all! We’ve actually been sharing our finances and finding the most efficient ways for us to allocate resources as a team since we first started dating. (I mean wayyyyy too early in the relationship, like Gentlemen of Leisure commented above!) Intimate details of or prenup are actually the subject of one of my recent posts: http://www.ivigilante.com/prenups-and-fi-fairness/

    Now, if you get married, you have a slightly less than 50% chance of getting divorced. This next part is just a personal opinion, again, not a fact: If you think you’re the exception to that rule, you’re probably the opposite – people who go into marriage with unrealistic expectations of living happily ever after are probably the most likely to be disappointed by their marriage and to want out a month, a year, or three decades later!

    Back to the facts: If you do get a divorce and you don’t have a prenup, guess what? The decisions you could have made together as a couple, when you loved one another, will now be made by the “prenup” built into the divorce laws of your state! And, most likely, the interpretation of those divorce laws and application of them to your divorce will be determined primarily by your own choices (as an emotionally upset divorcing spouse!) and the attorneys who will be hired to represent your best interests under those laws. Personally, I’d rather have that decision be made by two people who care about one another rather than by an adversarial proceeding involving strangers and laws that might be inapplicable to our lifestyle choices!

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