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Old confusedwife
 
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 10-26-03 , 06:23 PM


I need help and I'm hoping someone can assist me.

I was married October 11, 2003 and the day before my wedding my husband presented me with a Pre Nup agreement. I had no idea he was even considering having me sign a pre Nup since he doesn't have much. He has a home which has NO equity in it. He recently refinancied the house and took all the equity out to pay off a car he owned. In the Pre Nup he states that even if we are married and 30 years from now the house is paid off I am still not entitled to proceeds from the house. He refinanced the house while we were together and living in our house.

I didn't have time to contest the Pre Nup since he presented it the day before the wedding and my family was already in route or had already arrived from out of town. I feel so hurt and betrayed that he waited the day before the wedding to show his real feelings.

Why should I be forced to sign pay or contribute to a mortgage that I will never gain benefits from? Is there anyway I can contest the Pre Nup or draw up my own agreement that states any money I contribute is a loan and must be repaid (with interest) if we divorce?

Please help
Cynthia

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 10-26-03 , 06:34 PM


I would have refused to sign it and not get married. Your family would have understood. What a slime he was.

Now that you have signed it, I would speak to a lawyer ASAP.

I was recently faced with this same situation (8 weeks before the wedding, invitations already out) and at 4 weeks before I let him know I WAS NOT signing it and if he wanted me to call all the guests and cancel, I would be happy to do so. We had even tweaked it with the lawyer so it suited us well but I still didn't feel comfortable.

We got married without one!

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Pre Nup Agreement
Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 10-26-03 , 06:40 PM


You're right thinking back I should have called things off, but I guess I was in a state of shock and very confused.

I could not believe he waited until the day before the wedding to show his real feelings.

I am in the process of finding an attorney, but I was hoping it was not too late. What I would really like to do is draw up a counter-contract that he would need to sign stating that he will repay all monies that I paid towards the maintenance and mortgage with interest.

Actually I would really like to get the married annuled ... is it too late.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 10-26-03 , 07:23 PM


My husband thinks that by presenting the pre nup to you the day before the wedding was tantamount to 'undue duress' and any contract signed under duress should be declared null and void. He's not a lawyer, so I've no idea if this would stand up in court.

I think that this was a dispicable thing to do to you and, much as I hate to say it, I would tell him that if he refuses to tear this contract up, I would be tearing up the marriage licence. I couldn't live with a man who did this to me and stuck to it even though it was upsetting me that much. It may be that he was advised by someone to do this and doesn't realise the harm he's doing to you and your marriage.

Have you discussed why he did this considering that he's got no assets to speak of? Is he likely to inherit a lot of money or property etc and his family has pushed for this?

You must thrash this out now and try to save your marriage. Good luck.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 10-26-03 , 07:58 PM


Who ever said you had to contribute to the mortgage? Is you name on the loan? If you want out get out now. If you want to stay don't put a penny into it but start an account or investment portfolio that he cannot touch in your maiden name if possible.

My husband and I keep finances separate and we never fuss over money. The house is in my name only and he pays the mortgage which could be paid off tomorrow if we didn't want the financial facility there - if you over pay you can draw back . Stocks are in my name and the kids names and then there is also a family trust. His bank account is his and pays all the bills. What I earn is for vacations, toys for kids, clothes and extras. Works for me! Our arrangement is due to potential litigation against him due to his professional status though. If the partners of his firm get sued we don't go to the bread line because our assets are protected. I guess I am just trying to illustrate that sometimes keeping things separate is the most reasonable route to take. In your case I feel he was underhanded about it and that would bring up trust issues for me personally. In my early marriage my name was on nothing and people would tell me I was crazy because what if... blah blah blah. I never raised the issue and now we are in the reverse situation. Things change. Maybe it was also just his insecurity with such a commitment. Maybe if you give it time and talk about it he will rip it up. If you are thinking this way this early on though it does not bode well for the future IMHO. The first years are the hardest and I do wish you well and hope you can work through it.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 10-26-03 , 08:26 PM


You may be in for the ride of your life with this guy. Given the news he refinanced "his" house for "his" car, just before you two got married, then put you on the hook fo pay it off says a lot about this guy's character. I'd say the warning signs were there all along but you chose not to see them.

Get your tush to a lawyer pronto before another week goes by or you will be paying his mortgage long after the divorce papers have turned yellow.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 10-26-03 , 11:05 PM


We dont know that she is on the hook to pay off the house. She hasn't said that her name is on the mortgage.

Refinancing the house to pay off the car, well depending on interest rates for each loan he had that could have been a sound financial decision. Consolidation of debt to the lowest interest rate is a smart business move. It may have nothing to do with the relationship itself.

Also making arrangements that she would not benefit from the sale of the house is not unreasonable if she does not help pay the mortgage and there are no children involved. She can take her money she would put on the mortgage and make her own investments.

We really dont know engough about this fella's reasoning to judge him and I am just saying that if she loved him enough to marry him that speaks volumes.

Don't panic but do ask him to explain his financial decisions and try to remain non emotive about it and not fall into your established argument pattern. Have your counter agreement prepared before the discussion. Make sure it is fair. You can always chose to present it at that time or not depending on his explanation. If he does tear up the pre nump please do make sure it is the original and not a copy.

Also, don't get pregnant until you are very, very sure about his motives and character. In a legalistic sense Marriage can end with divorce but when children are involved you are connected to him for life.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 10-27-03 , 01:57 AM


Cynthia,
You and your husband NEED to have a long discussion. Marriage is a partnership which only works, in the long run, when it is based on total honesty and respect. It really doesn't matter who signs what. If you feel betrayed or he feels he needs to protect himself, then you're starting this whole thing off on the WRONG foot. You can't go through years of living together wondering what the other person is up to, or worse yet competing with them in some way to see who's going to get what when it all falls apart. What the hell is that about ?

You have to be on the same team, you have to fight FOR each other, not AGAINST each other, you EACH have got to put the other person first. Any other way always leads in the wrong direction and is not worth your time. Talk to him first, not a lawyer or a counselor. There's plenty of time for that later, if you still don't feel right about this.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 10-27-03 , 04:17 AM


Michael E I love your perspective on marriage. It is simple and true.


"You have to be on the same team, you have to fight FOR each other, not AGAINST each other, you EACH have got to put the other person first."


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 10-27-03 , 05:26 AM


ancienthills

I agree with a lot of what you say about everyone having different financial setups. A lot of our assets are in my name for tax purposes. We also have one property that was my husband's family home which is in his name only and I'm more than OK with that as I feel that it should be his to do with as he sees fit. Properties we bought as a couple are in our joint names. But these arrangements suit us because we've been married a long time and we trust each other completely. This poor girl isn't in that happy position. She has no idea really what the future holds for her with this man at this stage in their relationship.

Also, we shouldn't forget that confusedwife or her partner may not always be in receipt work. Who pays for what then? She might end up having to pay for a mortgage in which she will never have any financial stake. I think that's unfair. What if she has children and he expects her, or she wishes, to give up work to become a full-time mother. Just because she may have no finanial input doesn't mean that she isn't contributing to the household in other just as valuable ways, but with this pre nup, she is virtually on her own financially.

There are so many aspects to consider and I feel that this couple haven't thought through any of them. A lot of young couples don't think about the future and their finances all that clearly and that's not unusual. As long as everything is joint at the start, that lack of planning needn't be a problem. These things can be thrashed out as and when the need arises, but I feel that confusedwife's husband has put her very much at a disadvantage right from the word go. In effect he's said 'what's mine is mine and you can come along for the ride, but we're never going to equal partners in this relationship.'

I feel that it is the issue of trust that is the crux of confusedwife's problem. This action and doing it the way he did, at the eleventh hour and giving her no time to think things through or discuss his reasoning, has destroyed her trust in him. I wonder if he realises the damage he has done?


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 10-27-03 , 05:51 AM


Bagpuss, you are right. It all boils down to implicit and complete trust. I also agree with your other points too regarding stay at home mothers deserving recognition for contribution to the family and about couples who havent thought things through starting jointly. I just can't judge his motivation as malicious without knowing more details. I think there may be more to the story.

Gosh I think of Grant and myself as a young couple. We are only early and mid 30's but got married very young and started a family right away. I know we still have growing to do but I have to say although our financial arrangement is very structured it has never been a focus of the relationship at all. Maybe because it is so prescribed ? It all comes out of the same pocket at the end of the day and we both believe that building a future for our children is the most important priority.

It is good that there are no children involved in confused wifes situation. It would be great to hear how you are feeling confused wife. I was also wondering if he had ever exhibited any other issues in relation to power/control? Watch for these red flags as this could have potential to grow into an abusive relationship.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 10-27-03 , 06:13 AM


ancienthills, I agree, lack of trust is the problem here, compounded by a lack of communication. It's so sad that their first weeks of marriage have been spoiled by financial considerations.

I can say that we thought quite clearly about our financial future when we first married. I must say that this was largely due to my husband. He's always had a clear vision of what we were doing financially and has been very successful at directing it. The difference between me and confusedwife is that my dh and I discussed what we were going to do from the word go (even before we were married) and we came to a mutual agreement about our financial plans. Despite the fact that I'm a stay-at-home mum (again a joint decision) and have been for many years, I've always known that we were equal partners financially. But our marital and financial success has all been based on, and as a result of, communication, agreement and trust. This is what confusedwife and her husband have to sort out above all.

It may be that confusedwife's husband has been given poor advice and has no idea of the can of worms he's opened. She has to explain to him how this has made her feel and get this straightened out now.

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Have you had a chance to talk quietly to your husband yet and sort out any of your concerns?


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Yes and Yes
Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 11-12-03 , 01:43 PM


I took your post with me to a litigation luncheon and asked people who know about such things what you could do. Here is what they said.

1.) You do not need to contribute to the mortgage as it is not community property and you are precluded from owning or benefiting from the house. This also spares you any responsibility in a lawsuit if say a gardener was hurt on the property.

2.) You can and should draw up a marital financial agreement that says that you and your husband have agreed to keep all aspects of your finances separate. In this regard, you have your money and he has his. Of course if he wins the lotto your outta luck.

3.) You can have a codicil added to the Pre-nup with regard to the specific issue at hand (the house).

On a more personal note, and I do apologize for being rude, but it has to be said.

You seem like a normal rational woman.I would hate to be in your shoes, I can only imagine how difficult this was, and to have to shoulder that stress on your wedding is terrible...BUT

Your husband is a jackass.

Sorry, it had to be said. No sane person would blame you if you chose to leave him and share your life with someone who wants to share and grow with you.

Mind you, had you been aware of this from the word go, I wouldn't be calling your husband a jerk, but he sprung this on you in a very cowardly fashion.

Good luck either way.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 11-12-03 , 02:09 PM


I too have wondered how she is doing.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 11-12-03 , 06:44 PM


Me too. What a thing to happen to a newly wed. So sad.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 11-13-03 , 12:27 AM


Get a lawyer immediately. You signed that prenup under duress and although I am not a lawyer, I am almost certain there is a law protecting you from this kind of controlling behaviour.

I don't like the fact that he sprung this on you at the last moment, it was unkind and showed a definite lack of respect that, quite frankly, is frightening.

That is not to say I disagree with prenuptials, because I think they can serve a good purpose. My sister is involved with a man who never has any money, cannot hold down a job and has never owned any property. My sister left a marriage, fought tooth and nail to keep the marital home and did so successfully. She pays all the bills, supported all 3 of her children and did so without any form of support from her ex. If she marries this character, she WILL have a prenuptial agreement drawn up.

If my marriage were ever to dissolve, I also would have a prenuptial agreement. For one thing, this house is mine and although it's also considered the marital home, I would pay him out and assume the house on my own. (gawd willing this never happens..but you never know) I worked too darn hard to pay off this house and restore it to ever consider letting another man into it without legal documents clearly outlining the fact the house is and always will be mine. I would also write into this document any monies I have in investments, stocks etc. would remain my property and not his.

I'm getting all steamed up over something that will likely never happen but there are no guarantees in anything, least of all marriage.

Was your husband's home a marital home at any time, or was it his family home growing up? If this is the home he grew up in and he wanted to always keep it in the family, then he was well within his rights to draw up the prenuptial. -BUT- For the love of pete, he certainly picked the wrong time to approach you on the subject. Sounds like quite the manipulation.

I am sorry if I being overly blunt, but your husband has single handedly created an atmosphere of disrespect and mistrust. You both need to talk this over with an impartial professional, like a therapist or clergy.

I feel terrible for you. Marriage is tough enough without starting it with a prenuptial that was forced upon you in the 11th hour.

All the best to you, I do hope things work out for you. Please keep us posted. ~song

Last edited by song : 11-13-03 at 12:36 AM.
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 11-13-03 , 07:15 PM


I think that you have brought up some very pertinent points Song. I can see the arguement for pre-nups in certain situations to protect current assets and family inheritances etc and in cases where one party is bad with money or has a gambling problem. It's the way this man has done that bothers me. No real explanations or reasons and as you say, at the eleventh hour. That's what sticks in my throat.


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