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    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 22nd Sep 09, 4:11 PM
    • 1,233Posts
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    MSE Jenny
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Should Antony & Cleopatra get a pre-nup?
    • #1
    • 22nd Sep 09, 4:11 PM
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Should Antony & Cleopatra get a pre-nup? 22nd Sep 09 at 4:11 PM
    Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

    Loved-up Antony and Cleo are tying the knot soon. She's a very successful entrepreneur with large savings and a huge house, but Antony's a newly qualified teacher, earning a fraction of her salary. Cleo believes the marriage will last forever, but has friends who've got burnt. A new ruling means pre-nups now have real significance in UK law.

    Click reply to have your say

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    Last edited by MSE Jenny; 22-09-2009 at 6:41 PM.
Page 1
    • Flickering Ember
    • By Flickering Ember 22nd Sep 09, 4:49 PM
    • 11,623 Posts
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    Flickering Ember
    • #2
    • 22nd Sep 09, 4:49 PM
    • #2
    • 22nd Sep 09, 4:49 PM
    I remember Paul McCartney saying he decided against a prenup as they're not very romantic. He paid the price in more ways than one.

    As far as I'm concerned, marriage is a contract anyway; it's legally binding two people together. So it's not all romance and flowers either, and I'd certainly go for a prenup.

    We all hope things will go well in whatever we do, but the reality is, a lot of things don't, so it's best to be'll save a lot of money and heartache should things go wrong.
    Flickering Embers grow higher and higher...I need a break and I wanna be a paperback writer!
    • scotsbob
    • By scotsbob 22nd Sep 09, 5:00 PM
    • 4,462 Posts
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    • #3
    • 22nd Sep 09, 5:00 PM
    • #3
    • 22nd Sep 09, 5:00 PM
    Tony needs to get out now.

    If she doesn't trust him now it don't bode well for the future.

    He could easily find someone less materialistic and leave her to be a rich lonely spinster.

  • Noggin the Nog
    • #4
    • 22nd Sep 09, 5:29 PM
    • #4
    • 22nd Sep 09, 5:29 PM
    Couples should be able to talk openly and maturely about money matters and if they can't do so before they get married, I don't think it bodes well for their future! It's not just Cleo who should be thinking about the pre-nup but Antony - I think he should be concerned to protect Cleo's interests in case things eventually go wrong. Best to line yourselves up for as amicable and stress-free a split as possible, while it still seems unthinkable!

    In business it's normal to do a risk assessment for the years ahead and make sure that you've taken steps to lessen the effects of any plausible disaster scenarios (e.g. having data back-up systems in case of fire at the main office) even though you hope they won't happen. Why not the same for relationships?
    • Taffybiker
    • By Taffybiker 22nd Sep 09, 10:40 PM
    • 917 Posts
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    • #5
    • 22nd Sep 09, 10:40 PM
    • #5
    • 22nd Sep 09, 10:40 PM
    If my OH had asked for a pre nup I would not have minded at all. It's easy if it is just thought of as an insurance policy - which effectively it actually is.
    Someone who say no is possibly planning to marry for the wrong reason(s).
    Try saying "I have under-a-pound in my wallet" and listen to people react!
    • Gorf123
    • By Gorf123 23rd Sep 09, 12:59 AM
    • 63 Posts
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    • #6
    • 23rd Sep 09, 12:59 AM
    • #6
    • 23rd Sep 09, 12:59 AM
    Surely all you need to do is leave out "for richer, for poorer" and "all that I have, I share with you" and you're covered?

    Marriage isn't about money, it's about staying together through thick and thin. If either party has monetary worries in the remote (!) possibility of a breakup, they shouldn't be considering a lifelong commitment in the first place.
    • toadhall
    • By toadhall 23rd Sep 09, 6:25 AM
    • 326 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    • #7
    • 23rd Sep 09, 6:25 AM
    • #7
    • 23rd Sep 09, 6:25 AM
    I earn a lot more than my husband, its been the other way round in the past. I would never ask for a pre nup contract first. Twenty years later, we are still fine.
    As has already been said if she doesnt trust him then don't bother.
    • elliep
    • By elliep 23rd Sep 09, 7:32 AM
    • 685 Posts
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    • #8
    • 23rd Sep 09, 7:32 AM
    • #8
    • 23rd Sep 09, 7:32 AM
    By asking for a pre-nup then she's saying she doesn't think they will be together forever. It's much more important that they enter their marriage expecting to stay together forever than by worrying what happens if/when they split.

    Surely, by introducing the idea that when they split she's worried he'll run off with her money she's increading the chances of that split happening? She's effectively saying she doesn't trust him to stay with her, or if they split she doesn't trust him to be fair about the division of assests.

    When I got married I owned a house (not much equity in it) and my parents wanted me to get a pre-nup in case my man tried to leave and keep my house. I refused as I didn't want to suggest that we'd not be together forever. I made my vows for better or worse, richer or poorer, till death parts us - and I meant it. If he leaves me I'll have much bigger problems than who gets the house, or who gets the money that we've accumulated since being married.
    Last edited by elliep; 23-09-2009 at 7:36 AM.
  • Simtrain
    • #9
    • 23rd Sep 09, 7:43 AM
    • #9
    • 23rd Sep 09, 7:43 AM
    I'm in the same boat as Antony. I asked my partner to see a solicitor and get a pre nup arranged, she said she didn't need to, I still want her to, if anything it proves that she is my interest, not anything she may or may not have, anything we aquire together is a different matter.
  • philoio
    "Dont get a prenup because if you do your marridge will fail"
    is a bit like saying
    "Dont get house insurance because if you do your house will burn down."

    Yes it will be an awkward conversation but advising Anthony to leave his fiancee because of it is a little silly.
    • Katie-Kat-Kins
    • By Katie-Kat-Kins 23rd Sep 09, 8:34 AM
    • 1,692 Posts
    • 1,784 Thanks
    I hate the idea of prenups, and I currently earn significantly more than my new husband and have significant savings too.

    I just think that it is impossible to think through all the scenarios in advance and come up with an equitable solution which will fit years down the line. Dividing up assets fairly taking into account all of the circumstances is a job for the courts if you ask me.

    In my husband's line of work he could potentially out strip my earnings many times over if things go well, on the other hand he may always have very little income....... IF things go wrong we'll have to work out a split taking into account what has actually happened to both our earnings not what we think might happen.
    • RuthnJasper
    • By RuthnJasper 23rd Sep 09, 8:56 AM
    • 3,647 Posts
    • 8,687 Thanks
    I guess it partly depends on how long they've been together. If it's a 'whirlwind'-type romance, then definitely arrange a pre-nup. If they've been together for ages, then possibly not.

    It's at least worth discussing, perhaps with a neutral advisor present, in any case. Cleopatra should not "demand" that Antony signs up to a pre-nup - rather they should make the decision mutually, and for the best reasons. As mentioned in previous replies, marriage is a legally-binding contract and sometimes the unthinkable can happen. It's only right to be sensible and doesn't necessarily imply a lack of trust in either party or a certainty that the marriage will come to a sticky end.

    Romance is a wonderful thing. But (alas), reality and being sensible HAVE to creep in at some point. Even in paradise, someone has to empty the bins.
  • AnneWorkman
    Personally I think a pre-nup (or equivalent) should be an essential part of any relationship once there are assets involved. As many others have said if you can't discuss money openly then you are storing up problems for further down the line.

    The fairest option in my opinion would be to sign an agreement that stated what they each brought to the relationship remained theirs (property, savings etc), and anything from then on was joint.

    Certainly just mentioning the topic for discussion shouldn't be a reason to walk away from a relationship!
  • Stampede
    My own parents had a long marriage and would never have considered pre-nups even had they been around. They brought up a large family and I personally have been lucky in my own marriage, having now got to the grandchildren stage. Again pre-nups just were not a consideration.

    However it is no good those of us of a certain age or older generation throwing up our hands in horror at the thought of pre-nups entering into and being part of the modern marriage arrangements. Conventions have changed in many things such as who and which side pays for what, and I do not see that a pre-nup means ' don't you trust me ?' or ' don't you think our marriage will last ?'

    At close hand I have seen others whose marriage is a hell. Sometimes people stay together 'just for the children', or because one side faces financial ruin, and a pre-nup might have meant a fairer solution - whatever fair means in such situations.

    totally debt free with money in the bank for, as Mum said ( RIP ) 'in case the roof needs repairing'
    Last edited by Stampede; 23-09-2009 at 9:35 AM. Reason: oops - spelling .. funny how you don't notice them .. anymore that I've missed ?
    • hellywelly5
    • By hellywelly5 23rd Sep 09, 9:38 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Prenups? I thought we went into marriage for it to last forever, so why plan for 'if it doesn't work out ' just make sure it does! What's money at the end of the day, you can't put a price on love! I've earnt more money than my husband for all of our 32 years of married life, he is great at DIY and so many other things, so has saved us a fortune in loads of other areas. I see us as totally equal. Prenup..pah!
    • pineapple
    • By pineapple 23rd Sep 09, 9:57 AM
    • 6,312 Posts
    • 30,275 Thanks
    Kudos to Simtrain.
    When my marriage ended, we reached an amicable agreement to discount anything brought into the marriage, plus I refused to go after all I was entitled to, in law. We were guided by what we thought was moral and ethical in the circumstances rather than the law.
    But you can't guarantee that civility will prevail. Nobody knows what the future will bring. Marriage is a contract anyway. Why not go the extra distance? In fact I would suggest that this should be a compulsory addition to the marriage contract. That would get rid of any awkwardness and maybe get rid of the gold diggers who pray on vulnerable people too.
    In fact, finance by default is a part of the marriage contract anyway. But the law can be an a**. So I would have no problems if a partner, much richer than I, requested this. Plus I would definitely consider it myself should I chance on a younger, penniless hunk (some chance).
    Last edited by pineapple; 23-09-2009 at 10:06 AM.
    • freddy27
    • By freddy27 23rd Sep 09, 11:05 AM
    • 58 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    Pre Nup
    Absolute necessity. You never know what is round the corner. I've been done over twice by greedy dishonest wives. So with that experience my advice might also be, do not get entangled. Cheers!
    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 23rd Sep 09, 11:31 AM
    • 427 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    Yes, she should go ahead with the prenuptial agreement and Anthony's acceptance of this (or not) will reveal his true feelings towards her. Joint coffers are never a good idea when one party brings an empty coffer into the relationship.
    • GSXRCarlos
    • By GSXRCarlos 23rd Sep 09, 11:52 AM
    • 793 Posts
    • 572 Thanks
    if i was anthong, i'd be looking to protect cleo's interest.

    It'd be her i was interested in, not the money

    And if you never split, you never have to use the pre-nup
  • solitaire64
    Pre-nups should be made a legal necessity for anyone getting wed. If you want to keep it simple, sign it for a 50/50 split, otherwise sort it properly.

    I got married quite young (against my parents' wishes). They had a successful business and were quite well off, my husband was one of their employees. He was 24 when he actively started to pursue me when I was 13. I was just young and *in love* (AKA hormonally stupid!). We hid our relationship until I was 16 and amazingly, the olds never found out.

    Wanting to prove how loving our relationship was, I signed him a 50% share of everything I owned. I struck out on my own and started up another succesful business, making my ex my business partner.

    My ex was illiterate (though he denied this during our initial divorce proceedings) so it was always down to me to sort anything that needed a pen putting to paper (and a lot of other things in our day-to-day life). A few years later, I became ill and had to employ a few part-timers to help cover me as the ex was almost as useful as a chocolate teapot (he couldn't even write our address). He did, however, manage to start knocking off one of the assistants. She had big ideas and they decided on a takeover. The business suffered big time and my accountant got in touch with me to let me know what was going on. It all became a huge mess and I started divorce proceedings after being held down by him while she attacked me.

    After all this, there wasn't much left but the biggest shock I had was in court when the judge ruled that as he was illiterate (must have come on suddenly according to my solicitor!!) and was unable to hold down a *proper* job, I was to hand over everything PLUS a third of all my future earnings over a certain level to him! He then promptly went bankrupt (after hiding everything first), leaving me with huge debts run up in my name whilst I was ill (yep, he was clever enough to hide the post then have it re-directed to her address).

    Love's young dream was certainly shattered for me - as it is for a third of marriages these days. Common sense goes out of the window when emotions (and money) are involved. Thankfully, I'm well-rid of a nasty piece of work, though I've never fully regained my health nor have I any incentive to get a good job or start in business again. Signing a pre-nup would have prevented all this and left me free to get on with my life to what I would like to be my full potential.

    I understand that my case may have been unusual in many aspects, but I'm sure taking the *romance* out of the proceedings at the start would make life easier for a lot of couples to start married life without arguements, doubts or suspicion.

    My friend is getting married next year. We've all suggested she sorts out a pre-nup as her fiance (they've known each other less than two months, he proposed a fortnight after meeting her - on the internet!) has a really bad track record, being engaged four times already and a lot of debts to his name. She has her own house and a young child to think of. She's refusing to suggest as she's afraid it'll put him off! No, it isn't romantic, but if it was part of the marriage contract, she wouldn't have to think that way.

    Strange, though, that the vast majority of pre-nup requests that I've known of are made by men to women who rarely think twice about signing, yet the other way around and women don't want to ask in case it's seen as unromantic or selfish.

    (Sorry 'bout the long post but it's a subject that's close to my heart.)
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