I've been with my fiancé for five years, we're getting married in July.
My problem is the prenuptial agreement: She feels that after one year of marriage, she should own 30 per cent of my house.
I've put my entire savings into it, pay all the bills, and do all the maintenance.
I've been very gracious to her, as far as supporting her.
She has a very good job, but invests a lot of her pay, whereas my investment is in my home. She states that she shouldn't have to help clean or anything, unless she's to be put on the mortgage.
We've talked about having a time for the pre-nup to expire, but she feels it should be after one year.
I love her and plan on being together forever. I just don't want to lose everything I invested my life in, if things do go sour.
Am I wrong for being safe?
You're both naturally thinking about your personal security, but it's fairness and practicality that should be the focus here.
For example: If she's to own 30 per cent of the house, she should be required to pay 30 per cent of the bills (while she's working, and not home raising children).
Or, her personal investments should also be divided such that you receive 30 per cent of them after that first year.
Pre-nup discussions are a minefield since they raise all kinds of anxieties. I recommend you discuss this together with a financial/legal adviser before making your decisions.
My husband and I have recently come by a huge amount of money. We definitely don't need it all and would like to give to as many people as possible.
One group we'd like to give to is the staff at our children's school. They are amazing people, and wouldn't it be wonderful to give them enough for a family vacation, or a new car?
Is there any way to give the money without causing problems? Could we somehow give it anonymously? We would give to each staff member equally, so as not to cause friction, but I don't want something we perceive as wonderful to turn out badly.
What do you think?
- Lucky Family
I commend you for your generosity and thoughtfulness.
Your instincts are accurate that money can bring ease to some, but it can also create problems.
I urge you to park this windfall in a secure 30-day bank note or term deposit while you think this through further.
An anonymous gift of equal distribution to each staff member at the school, thanking them for their dedicated good work, would be a wonderful present. I believe that anonymity is important, since you don't want your children singled out by staff or looked on differently by other students and parents.
Distributing the money will require an outside professional such as a lawyer or banker who'll maintain confidentiality.
Be prepared, that if there are close people who know of your good fortune - and feel they have needs or entitlement to ask - that you might receive requests for help from many others.
I'm getting married in August. My mother says I should ask my brother's wife to be one of the attendants because it would bring us closer together as a family and my sister-in-law will probably get her feelings hurt if I don't ask her.
However, I don't want to do this. I feel it is my wedding and I should do what I want.
What is the proper etiquette?
- Bridal Dilemma
You need to decide whether you're willing to only go with your own feelings, or if you care about the feelings of other family members on this occasion.
This isn't about "etiquette;" it's about what your wedding means to you. In many cases, a wedding still carries the traditional message of family celebration, whereby relatives are honoured by participating in the wedding party.
This is often more prevalent when parents are paying the shot and have some say in planning the event.
In other situations, brides insist this is their big day and they (and their grooms, hopefully) will make all the decisions on their own.
The choice is yours. My own tendency is to go for family unity and invite all the attendants you want plus your sister-in-law. If you find this intolerable, perhaps there's another role you can give her, such as toastmaster.
Tip of the day:
Discussions about a pre-nuptial agreement should always be guided by a professional advisor.