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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11281
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I am getting married on October 1st of this year. My fiancee

Resolved Question:

I am getting married on October 1st of this year. My fiancee is asking for a prenup because he is a wealthy orthopedic surgeon. We have six children between us, and he has custody of his children. He is asking me that after we get married, I quit my job. I am a nurse at a local hospital where we live. We have been together for almost 7 years, and I do most of the work when it comes to dealing with all of the children. He does not help around the house on any level. All of this is ok, but now he is trying to short the prenup and keep everything separate after we are married. I am marrying him for all of the right reasons, I just don't know the whole legal game and I want to know what to expect and what would be fair in this situation. He is suggesting he will open a joint account for household bills etc, but states he will control how much goes into it, and if I decide to keep working, he will not put as much money in the joint account as he will if I quit my job. I am giving up my retirement and status at the hospital, and I don't feel he is taking that into consideration. He is offering 50000 a year for alimony for a certain number of years we are married, so the grand total he would have to pay me is 500000. He makes over 1.5million a year and states he will have total control over all of his earnings, including our joint account. Do you think this is fair?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 2 years ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

Ultimately it's up to you as to whether that's something that you can live with or not. But it has to be weighed against the status quo, which is no alimony if you're not married and you break up. So long as you're not giving away custody or child support rights, then that doesn't have to be taken into account. But a prenup will take precedence over the general laws regarding property distribution, and unless the court finds that there was a grossly disproportionate bargaining position (which it almost never does, even in vastly disproportionate earnings) it will uphold the viability of the prenup.

ScottyMacEsq :

Further, without a prenup, the court wouldn't necessarily award alimony.

ScottyMacEsq :

Alimony is in the discretion of the court.

ScottyMacEsq :

Ultimately, this is up to you, but be pessimistic when you sign it. It's easy to think that you're never going to need it, and that you'll remain married. But it will be effective if the marriage ever falls apart.

Customer:

I am just not sure what is fair or not. I am not trying to be unfair to him, I just want to know how this seems to a professional like yourself.

ScottyMacEsq :

From cases that I have seen, this seems fair (if not a little low based upon his earnings).

ScottyMacEsq :

You would have to consider costs of living should the marriage fall apart, etc...

ScottyMacEsq :

Again, you don't get anything if you don't marry, so you do have to weigh the status quo versus what you would get under the prenup.

ScottyMacEsq :

And you can always counter him.

Customer:

true, what do you mean by considering costs?

Customer:

He says if I counter too much, he will not marry me. Basically, he is telling me that he thinks he is being fair and there will be little negotiation with it.

Customer:

He tells me he is also concerned with the way that healthcare may change, that he will not make in the future what he makes now. He says he may make significantly less in a few years.

ScottyMacEsq :

Wyoming is likely a cheaper place to live than New York City, etc... And $50,000 now is more than $50,000 20 years from now. For instance, 20 years ago, $30,000 would buy what $50,000 can buy now. A dollar went further then, and it will go further today than it will 20 years down the line. So $50,000, in real money, might be like $30,000 (or less) 20 years in the future.

ScottyMacEsq :

If you can get "inflation adjusted" added in the prenup, that alone would be worth quite a bit.

ScottyMacEsq :

Furthermore, if he's concerned about you leaving him, you can stipulate that this prenup will only be effecitve if you file for divorce, contested or uncontested, without fault.

ScottyMacEsq :

What that means is that you can still file, if he abandons you, or has an affair, or if he files, etc... and the prenup would not be effective. That would give him assurance that you would not just file divorce to get his stuff, and that you're really doing this for all the right reasons.

Customer:

we have discussed that, but he doesn't want to have to pay extra if he files or has an affair etc. So, he probably would not go for that.

Customer:

I would do that in a heartbeat, but if the fault or filing is him, he doesn't want to be more financially responsible.

ScottyMacEsq :

Again, that's up to you to determine whether or not you can live with that risk. If you believe that he wouldn't do that (based upon your history with him), then that would something that you would need to consider.

Customer:

Any other ideas or points I should focus on or need to know before I sign anything.

ScottyMacEsq :

No, other than you should sign it expecting that it will be enforced if need be. That is, many people sign it thinking that it will be "torn up" during the marriage, or that they can contest it down the road. But while this can happen, don't expect it to. Make sure it's something that you can live with, if need be.

Customer:

Thank you so much for your help, I feel like I have a base understanding of the situation now.

ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11281
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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