Suddenly, two months before our wedding, my fiancé suggested we sign a pre-nup. I’m 30, he’s 33, both never married before, both earning decent money.
We’ve been living together for two years in his condo, fully sharing costs, including my paying half of the mortgage. We never argue about money.
But my fiancé’s best friend is a divorce lawyer who’s been telling him stories of bitter divorce cases (no names divulged) in which the husbands are always “taken to the cleaners by their money-grasping wives.”
I’m feeling insulted by this new concern about divorce from the man whom I thought trusted me completely, just as I trusted him.
Am I overreacting?
He’s been spooked by his friend, and it’s led to a not-so-uncommon case of bridegroom’s jitters.
He should tell his friend he got the message and you and he will discuss it further.
At that point, you both should make yourselves aware of the divorce laws where you live, regarding division of financial matters and assets.
(Example, in some jurisdictions, your two years’ co-habitation counts as a common-law relationship, which may entitle you to a share of the condo ownership).
A prenuptial agreement should protect both of you.
According to a 2016 survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, there’s been an uptick in requests for pre-nups in recent years.
They’re mostly coming from millennials in cases where the bride and groom both have assets to protect.
Despite your trust in each other, you’ve undoubtedly known about enough divorces that ended up with unfair consequences, to recognize that learning more about pre-nups is worthwhile.
You should have separate lawyers, so that you both feel certain that the agreement is right for each of you.
A major area that lawyers advise should be addressed, is protecting each side from having responsibility for a spouse’s own accumulated debt.
Benefits of the discussion alone, is eliminating any surprises about each other’s credit scores and spending patterns.
Or, hearing about valuable assets (e.g. a grandmother’s antiques which one partner intends to keep within the family, despite a split.)
However, since you two never argue about money and both earn well, you can point this out to your fiance to counter the anxiety his friend has created.
If your emotional connection is also secure, the pe-nup chat may be all it takes to dismiss the issue, or make signing one just a practical move, not an insulting one.
I’ve been dating two very different men. One arouses great passion in me, but he’s stated that he isn’t interested in a full-on relationship.
The other man is warm and loving to me and my young son. He’s said that he’ll marry me the moment I say yes.
I care a lot for him, but don’t feel any fireworks with him.
How Do I Choose?
Don’t choose. Take a break from both men. In fact, take a break from dating (no worries, not a long one), just to clear your mind from the comparison game.
Why call it a “game?” Because you want to enjoy some of both men, but not all of either of them.
So, spend some time thinking through what kind of qualities you want/need in a real partner.
Take into account your child’s need’s, too, not just for the short term, but for the realities of a future as a family.
After, you may not even date either man, and instead prefer a fresh start.
FEEDBACK Regarding the aunt who learned about her nephew’s physical abuse of his wife (Nov. 2):
Reader – “The three-year-old daughter who witnessed this violence was affected as much as if she’d been assaulted herself.
“It’s a legal requirement for the aunt to report this child abuse to children’s services. She has a duty to protect her nephew’s wife and daughter.
“The ministry in charge will then keep an eye on the family and make sure that the man participates in treatment.
“The aunt can do the report anonymously.”
Ellie - In Canada, everyone has a duty to report child abuse and neglect. Professionals working with children and youth have an added reporting responsibility.
You’re also obliged to report child maltreatment if you know or suspect it’s occurring.
In the United States, some states require all citizens to report. A “mandated reporter” is one required by law to report reasonable suspicions of abuse.
Tip of the day:
A prenuptial agreement between a couple can protect both parties from unpleasant surprises about assets and finances.