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Old 12-21-2006, 10:09 PM   #16
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That's something I've wondered about. There are couples out there who didn't get a prenupt because they and their families had nothing when they started out, but things changed for the better. Perhaps in those cases it depends on who gets the best lawyer?
Well, now that I think about it I guess there's nothing barring them from making a decision, putting it on paper in proper terms, and getting it notarized or whatever legal seal of approval is required for such a contract. In this case, the couple has to actually decide how to divvy up. If they're already needing lawyers it might be futile!
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:13 PM   #17
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All of those questions are excellent and very important. My wife and I talked about all of them in one way or another before we got married, and I'd think it'd be kind of no-brainer to tackle most of them (except for the TV in the bedroom. . .I never thought of that, and I don't believe we talked about that). If you happen to miss any, pre-marital counseling will basically catch whatever slips through the cracks.

Regarding the money situation, pre-nups become pretty darn close to irrelevant when you (and your family on both sides) have virtually nothing, as is our case. Money is a crucial issue for us but not one that we really fight about. Unfortunately, that is because we both handle money the same way i.e. we spend. It gets very hard to get on a righteous high horse about overspending when you know you've done the same thing just yesterday.

We have a lot of debt, most of it educational loans, most of it my wife's (I had four years of free college due to a scholarship so my loans are incidental by comparison), and it's just a bill that we pay every month and will be paying for a very long time. Credit cards make up a small part of our total debt load but our complete lack of discipline in paying them off. . . Don' wanna talk about that.

The one thing that save us from absolute financial ruin is that we have a budget (we routinely go over the budget but at least we have one) and we have weekly budget meetings. Knowing how much we're spending tends to reign in our spending, and truth be told, if we put off those weekly meetings for a few weeks we always end up spending more. The "mental budget" is always faulty.
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:19 PM   #18
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Another Question: how many out there did premarital counseling?

Phil's dad did our wedding and often does the counseling. We thought it was going to be super-religious, but it was ok. For us, we just took this personality test that helps show the major differences and where we'll have to compromise, and then a test where you rate specific things as important, neutral, or not important. Then you compare any item that one or both rates as important, especially those where one says important and the other says not. This test basically covered every question in this thread and more. It helped b/c it's not that we didn't know enough about each other, but there were issues that neither of us ever would have thought to discuss beforehand. The prenupt thing came up in several forms and was never marked important so thus we decided to forget about it. It wasn't like religious counseling or that kind of thing.
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:19 PM   #19
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Two things that revolutionized my marriage:

Worldwide Marriage Encounter (It's sponsored by the Catholic church, but if that bothers you there are Protestant and Jewish versions and the principles could benefit even couples who are not believers). You have to be married for at least two years before you can sign up for a weekend. I highly recommend it.

Passionate Marriage--An excellent book by Dr. David Schnark (sp?. I'm too lazy to run upstairs and get the correct spelling). The book deals primarily with sexuality in marriage, but it has completely changed my understanding of what marriage is and what it should be.
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
Another Question: how many out there did premarital counseling?

Phil's dad did our wedding and often does the counseling. We thought it was going to be super-religious, but it was ok. For us, we just took this personality test that helps show the major differences and where we'll have to compromise, and then a test where you rate specific things as important, neutral, or not important. Then you compare any item that one or both rates as important, especially those where one says important and the other says not. This test basically covered every question in this thread and more. It helped b/c it's not that we didn't know enough about each other, but there were issues that neither of us ever would have thought to discuss beforehand. The prenupt thing came up in several forms and was never marked important so thus we decided to forget about it. It wasn't like religious counseling or that kind of thing.
We did. Ours was with a professional counselor, not a clergyman, but we took an inventory similar to what you did. I found it very useful and I would strongly recommend that anyone get some kind of premarital counseling before tying the knot. My wife and I are both quite religious and that part of our lives was and is important to our marriage, but the counseling we took did not center around exlusively spiritual issues. It would be a mistake to think that premarital counseling is somehow "religous" in nature and therefore limited to religious people. There are many professional, "secular" counselors out there. Like my hero, Dr. Schnark!
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:11 AM   #21
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My boyfriend and I have discussed all those questions and i do believe they are all very valid points. We live together, so things like money/chores are important to talk about and nut out together!
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Old 12-23-2006, 10:10 AM   #22
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Those of you who support the pre-nup thing, what do you think of sharing and assigning singular ownership of assets, worked for and acquired, during the marriage? If you own a house, or are paying off a mortgage, for example, do you add your partner's name to the title deed during the marriage, and then simply remove it (and pay them back whatever they might have contributed) at the end of the marriage, as per pre-nup conditions?

just wondering.
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Old 12-23-2006, 12:14 PM   #23
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Those of you who support the pre-nup thing, what do you think of sharing and assigning singular ownership of assets, worked for and acquired, during the marriage? If you own a house, or are paying off a mortgage, for example, do you add your partner's name to the title deed during the marriage, and then simply remove it (and pay them back whatever they might have contributed) at the end of the marriage, as per pre-nup conditions?

just wondering.
I think it should be done on a case by case basis and discussed before. There was a case in Canada where a couple got married with basically nothing to their name and the wife worked while the husband went and educated himself (I can't remember but I'm pretty sure he went to med school). When they got divorced, she wanted compensation for paying for his degree and the court said no, a university degree is not a form of property in a thing. So she was shit out of luck, earning nothing in some retail job while he was making $250K/year thanks to her sacrifice. It's surely not equitable, and maybe these sorts of rulings will eventually reverse, but for now, I think you'd be crazy not to consider that sort of thing.

Even the people who say they have nothing and that's why they didn't get a prenup - that's not necessarily always going to be true. For example, all my friends are pretty much students but with great earning potential. We have debt now but in 20 years most of these people will be huge earners. So it's smart to think about that now. And things like inheritance, as I said before.
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Old 12-23-2006, 01:10 PM   #24
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I understand the prenupt argument and it does make perfect sense and I don't look down on people who do it at all, but I guess for me I've always believe that you split 50-50, regardless of who did what when where how and why. Each marriage is different, so no decision is universally correct. In my mind, we are both one equal part of a marriage, period. Right now I'm making all the money and supporting Phil going back to school, but that's a conscious choice I made right now. I can't ever see myself going back on it and demanding that he pay me back for his degree. If I had any uncertainty about the future or under any circumstance would feel that he owes me for it, I'd deal with it right now.

I guess for me it's not that I'm naive or am using the trust argument not to get a prenupt, but it's just against my nature. If I didn't want to share with Phil or be the legal "head of household", I wouldn't do it, not turn my back on it later on. I prefer to make decisions about our marriage based on our relationship, not on statistics like the current divorce rate. Even if we got divorced or whatnot, I'd rather give him everything than be reduced to "well you only succeeded because of me so pay me back, bitch!" To me, equity is treating everyone equally, regardless of their worth, their education, their inheritances, etc. If we lost everything tomorrow, we'd both still be one equal person in a married unit.

So I guess in that sense, we do have a prenuptial agreement - we've already agreed to split 50/50.

It would be really hard for me to even think through any other type of agreement, b/c how do you decide what something is worth? For example, I'd give Phil EVERYTHING but my pets and feel I got the better end of the deal.

I think it's a good thing to think about. You shouldn't just NOT get a prenupt and never discuss it. But it's something neither of us want. So call me stupid, but no marriage is the same and what's right for one person isn't always right for the next person. If in ten years we get into a nasty divorce and I'm left living in a box under a bridge with my winter coat and some cats, feel free to laugh at me and say I was wrong.
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:12 PM   #25
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So I guess in that sense, we do have a prenuptial agreement - we've already agreed to split 50/50.

^pff. that's what she thinks.

I'M KIDDING!!!!

Man, if she would drop me right now I'd be in one sorry state. You might remember this state if you went to College and had to pay for yourself. Some call it, "Poor College Student."
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:19 PM   #26
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I think most people would agree with you, actually. So it's not a wrong take on things by any means. Like you said, you've sat down and thought about these things. But many people don't, and then one party is up a shit creek without a paddle. And that's because they never thought about anything before they got married.

I'm not particularly fond of marriage as an idea anyway, but if I did get married, I'm not doing it without a prenup. It's just a personal choice, neither side is wrong. I do think it's wrong not to even sit down and consider how you'd split your belongings. Nobody gets married with the intention of getting divorced, but it is a reality of life, and when it comes to things like children, finances, it's an important consideration.
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:34 PM   #27
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I think for me, it comes down to the fact that I decided to marry Lies. We didn't really have to talk about it, but I knew she had 3-4 times as much debt from college as I do. It didn't matter to me. In my mind, that was a part of the decision. That I loved her enough to say, "hey, I'll take on that debt with you."

If we come to a point where we separate or divorce, I will not leave her alone with that debt either because like I said, it was after all, a decision I made and frankly it would be a pretty jerky move to back out on no matter what the circumstances.
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:37 PM   #28
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That I loved her enough to say, "hey, I'll take on that debt with you."
But I don't feel the people who get a prenup don't love their spouse "enough" t say they'll split debts or whatever.
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:43 PM   #29
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^point taken. I should have emphasized the "for me" part more. I apologize. I meant no harm towards anyone here. I only meant to add my take on the idea, or where I stand in my marriage. It was not meant to bash others' thoughts or ideas.
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:53 PM   #30
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But I don't feel the people who get a prenup don't love their spouse "enough"
I agree, just like people who don't get a prenup aren't necessarily stupid or naive.
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