My marriage didn’t protect me, but I still think they are important

My marriage didn’t protect me, but I still think they are important

Leah Nash for BI

  • I got married in 2008 and thanks to my mother I signed a prenuptial agreement to protect my inheritance.
  • Before the marriage, she said my husband could not use the money to pay school fees.
  • We used the money for the house and I learned that my marriage did not protect me from having to split this 50-50.

This is part of our series Splitting the differencewhich examines the financial lives of couples.

Never forget that marriage was originally intended being a business relationship between two men in authority: the father of the bride and the future husband.

A shift in ideas around marriage that reflects an emotional connection does not negate a business partnership, even if brides are no longer sold on the most profitable match with a dowry.

You may love your future spouse, of course, but unless otherwise indicated, theirs is now yours and yours is theirs.

If you have a prenuptial agreement.

I have two pieces of marriage advice, now that I’m happily divorced, don’t let anyone ask me: Use separate sheets in bed, and get a prenuptial agreement that will fully protect you, even if you don’t think your assets are worth much.

But before marriage, you may not be protected. I learned this the hard way.

I got ready to get married in 2008

After graduating from high school, I got married and started a family Master of Arts in Teaching, but still didn’t have a job. My assets were a 2005 Subaru Forester, an orange cat, and about $200,000 in my late grandfather’s trust fund.

It seemed like an unusual amount of money to me at the time, but when my mother hired a lawyer before the marriage, I still refused. I can’t say exactly why my mother was so dead before marriage, but I guess she thought it couldn’t hurt to protect me financially. I agreed with him that there is no harm before marriage.

My soon-to-be ex-husband had no assets other than a cat that they shared. was planning to go dental school, but with a price tag of $200,000. My pre-marriage money ensured that it could not be used to pay for her school expenses.

Unfortunately, the reality of two people living on one teacher’s salary made this impossible. However, I was careful and spent my “grandfather’s money” only on living expenses. Loans cover tuition fees. At the end of dental school, we still had a little more than half of my money, and we used all of that money to make a down payment on our first home in both of our names, with the understanding that his salary would cover the mortgage. and most other bills. It was as if the stars aligned then: My money made sure we could afford the mortgage, and his new job made sure we could pay it off.

Leah Nash for BI

My husband and I divorced

After living at home for seven years, in the summer of 2020, he told me he wanted a divorce. He said that he wanted to sell the house first and split the proceeds. I didn’t like the idea after finding out that I wouldn’t be able to qualify for a mortgage without his income as a dentist and being out of work due to the pandemic. I had a few options, but I didn’t like any of them: I could continue our divorce until I had a job long enough to get a loan or I could afford to rent somewhere. I might want the house in the divorce settlement. Or my past could be my host.

I asked my attorney to apply for my marriage so I could get more money from the house purchase and he told me it was invalid. I spent the money on 50-50 marital property and before the marriage he said I was only protecting him from the money going towards tuition or paying off his student loans.

When it came time to discuss our divorce, emotions ran high. I wanted to keep us out of court for my mental health and financial reasons. Despite my lawyer’s advice, I sat in our yard with my ex after the kids went to bed. I said, “We’re canceling our employment contract. I’m not here to talk about our emotional contract. I’m just talking about numbers.”

Several times during the conversation, he became emotional. Every time he got up to leave. I know that sounds cold of me. But the emotional relationship died the moment he said he wanted a divorce. When he tells me he doesn’t want to get married anymore, it’s like I’m coming out of a trance or waking up. The love spell is broken. Emotions would only confuse me. I hooked them up for an hour long chat. I no longer had feelings for him. We were now business partners who only owned joint marital property, namely the house and children. We no longer had pets.

Over the next few weeks, we reached a tentative agreement reached by our attorneys. We sold the house, and I made enough money from the sale and my wife’s support to pay the rent.

We were officially divorced by the end of the year, but my marriage did nothing to protect me. If I could see into the future, I would have saved myself financially for more scenarios before marriage. If the marriage doesn’t work out, the prenup can arrange a “return”., where one person pays the other a lump sum as written before the marriage. I could stipulate that my money was returned to me during the divorce.

It’s possible that I never spent the “grandfathered money” but instead took out loans for living expenses like many graduate students. With my checking account as a safety net, I would rent to us until I paid off the house with no money left over. Of course, if I knew my fate, I would never marry a man.

Sign up in advance. As you do this, consider yourself fair, not a lover. Keep the love for the ceremony. Save yourself with a prenup.

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