How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 29818
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Marriage and possible Divorce question

This answer was rated:

My father is a wealthy man and I already have a chunk of money sits in my foreign bank account. I am in the process of opening couple businesses internationally. I also will inherit a big amount of cash and properties(lands etc.)

I do live in the USA, and my girlfriend for three years also lives with me here in Connecticut. She is out of status right now, so to make her legal here in the USA(basically to travel overseas together).. I need to marry her. I was married before for 4 years and I know how nightmare marriages can be.. So I really should give big credit to my girlfriend that the quality of her partnership is well above the average.

Having that said, that does not mean I should fork out my fathers hard earned money to her.
Getting close to my question..

I have two choices
First option: I can take her outside the USA(my own country) and marry her there..
There I am able to make a marriage agreement(prenup) that says at the time of a divorce both parties goes with what they have today.(without disclosing anything)
Both parties releases the rights to sue, or to ask for something.
But in this case for her to come back to the USA might be problematic. I do have a house here in the USA maybe she will want to come with me on some of my visits..

Second option: I can marry her here in the USA, and here she will get her greencard easier and traveling back to the USA with me will not be problem anymore.
But I heard that in the USA, there is such thing as consideration in agreements.. Meaning; I cannot make an agreement with her saying whatever is mine is mine after the marriage
And whatever is yours is yours. Because she does not have anything, the american law states you are keeping your money (material) but what she is gaining is marrying you.. This is not a (material) gain. Therefore this agreement is not valid.

So my lawyer made a prenup that is something like this.. First of all I disclose everything I have today(domestic, foreign, property, money.. everything) and give her an agreement that says for every year we will be married I will give her for the first five years for example 10.000$ a year.. that means if we divorce in the 4th year of our marriage I will owe her 40.000$.. after 5th year she entitles for the 20% of my house but she has to sell it back to me with a market value etc……
and then she hires a lawyer with her own money(she does not have any money I have to give her so she can hire a lawyer)and goes to this lawyer for about 2 months to sit everything and give a little time.. etc.. etc.. etc..

If I should add my personal opinion in this. I don't see any marriage that can survive after such a promise. This agreement will make a person consider divorce so easy!

Anyhow, 40.000$ might look like it is not a big deal but she is also from another country and
Where she is from people usually making 250$ a month. So 40.000$ for her is the biggest money she can dream all her life if she lived in her country.

But I have spoken to another lawyer and he tells me that this agreement will most likely to be valid only IF I have the same assets as of today at the time of the divorce.. Meaning; If I have a million dollar disclosed today, and 10 years later at the time of the divorce I worth 10 million dollars, than this agreement will not be valid he says. He says she can hire lawyers and it will be even more costly to fight for this prenup then paying her more and get it overwith.

In this case I first of all want to know if what I ‘ve been writing has mistakes or is it all true?

Second of all is there a way that I can make her walk away with nothing in case of a divorce. meaning; only giving her from my heart what I think she deserves at the time of the divorce. (if someone lives with me with harmony makes me happy, keeps home clean, cooks etc.. of course she deserves something) I am not a bad person, it is just I didn't make this money. It is all coming to me from my father and my father has earned this money very hard. If I didn't have this money and married a girl and we both were working and making money then of course I understand everything is shared. But this is a different case.
If I could add a third of all, I also would like to know;
I know state of connecticut accepts foreign or out of state prenups (is this true?)
If I decide to go back home and marry her in my own country with the laws that will enable me to make a prenup with no consideration(everybody walks away with what they have today. Releasing rights to sue or ask for things).
In this case can she one day open a divorce case in the USA?
If yes, what exactly she needs to open a divorce case in the USA?
How long time is needed to establish a residency here for her so she can open a divorce case?
Or can she do this court internationally?
Will this overseas made prenup with no consideration be valid in the USA?
Remember there is no her own lawyer there.. There is no 2 months time given to her to think about this agreement.. she will basically sign a paper that states she accepts these terms, and there courts assume that this person is adult therefore she has a brain and she has hands to sign and accept things.. so this agreement is valid there..
This is all I can think of right now.. Thank you for your answers!

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm going to try to go through them one at a time. Let me add that I hope you never need to know any of it.

1. The parties to a prenuptial agreement can agree to anything, including the fact that one party will receive nothing in the event of divorce. However, to ensure enforceability, each party should have his or her own attorney review it before signing. Your attorney CAN NOT advise her, because he has your best interests at heart, not hers.

2. Courts will not typically inquire as to the adequacy of consideration. If she agrees to give up her rights to your assets, and you agree to give her something in return, that is enough. Another option is that you can agree to give her any property that she acquires during the marriage through her own efforts. Even if she doesn't have much now, there is no way of knowing what she might acquire in the next few years. Either way, under Connecticut Statutes, Chapter 815e, Section 46b-36c, a premarital agreement is valid without consideration - the marriage is enough.

3. Connecticut will accept and enforce a premarital agreement entered into another state or country, unless it violates Connecticut public policy or law.

4. If things don't work out, she'll be able to file for divorce in Connecticut, as long as one of you has been a resident for 12 months, or she was a resident when you married, and returned to the state prior to filing with the intent of remaining a resident.

I hope that helps. If there's anything I've missed, or anything that you need clarified, please let me know. Congratulations, and I hope everything works out. Good luck.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I really appreciate your answer. It is easy to understand and answers all my questions. So thank you for that and also thank you for your wishes. I also hope everything works out and I never have to experience these things.

I want to summarize things up..
as far as I understand, as long as she reviews the agreement with her own lawyer
it really does not matter if she gets something or not. If there it says everybody walks away with their own wealth (even though she might have no wealth at the time) just because there was no way of knowing this at the time of the marriage, the agreement will be valid and enforceable.

And I also understood that even though there is no requirement for a consideration if I end up putting there an amount of money or have her the right to keep her own assets too, the agreement again will be valid and enforceable.

I think these answers all my questions..
If I may ask,
Do I need to disclose all my assets at the time of the agreement(foreign or domestic property, lands, bank accounts etc) ?
Or Does she really needs two months after she reviewed the agreement with her lawyer for marrying?
You definitely need to disclose all of your assets because, if you don't, it will be said that she did not make an informed decision in waiving her rights. A person must know what he or she is giving up before a waiver will be valid.

If she is represented by her own lawyer at the time of signing, it is much more likely that the agreement will be upheld, even if it says that you both walk out of the marriage with whatever you had when you walked in. However, if the agreement is found to be unconscionable either at the time of signing, or at the time of divorce, it will not be upheld. That is why it is better to give her at least something.

I went through the entire statute again to double check - it doesn't say anything about a waiting period between the signing of the prenuptial agreement and the actual wedding. The only thing is says is that the marriage license will expire after 65 days, if the marriage hasn't occurred. Because it's important that the agreement be upheld, her decision to sign will more likely be considered voluntary if she is given some time to think about it, rather than having it handed to her immediately before the ceremony. But the statute doesn't specifically set forth a waiting period.
Lucy, Esq. and 7 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Family Law Questions