Birmingham Family Law Attorneys: 10 Ways NOT To Ask For A Prenup

Thinking of a prenup? Give Meyer, Middleton, & DeLuca, LLC a call TODAY at 205-202-0070!

Thinking of a prenup? Give us a call TODAY at 205-582-2832!!!

We have talked about what you need to consider when getting a prenuptial agreement. However, the number one consideration that we neglected to mention which really is a make or break issue, is how to approach asking for a prenuptial agreement. This is a sensitive topic and should probably be approached in a sensitive way. The last thing you want to do is ruin your engagement with a huge break up! Here are 10 ways you should NOT ask for a prenup:

1)   Using the prenup as wrapping paper for the engagement ring.

2)   By scheduling a flash mob to propose then having a finale with the song Gold Digger after she says yes while singing along with “we want prenup! we want prenup!”

3)   Training doves to carry it to your significant other as if it is a romantic gesture.

4)   During a fight over your future child’s name (or any fight really) stating that you think a prenup is necessary.

5)   Asking your parents to do it for you, over dinner, without you around.

6)   Asking your grandparents to do it for you, over brunch, without you around.

7)   Sending it with the Best Man to the Bride’s dressing room on your wedding day. (Works both ways — Sending it with the Maid of Honor to the Groom’s dressing room on your wedding day).

8)   Handing it over during your vows, on your wedding day, before placing the ring on his or her finger.

9)   Interrupting their bubble bath by sending it in a bottle from one end of the tub to the other.

10) Making a unannounced pit stop at your lawyer’s office on the way to the church and/or to get your marriage license.

Birmingham Family Law Attorneys: 10 Things to Consider Before Signing a Prenup

Thinking of getting a prenup? Give Meyer, Middleton, & DeLuca, LLC a call today at 205-202-0070!

Thinking of getting a prenup? Give Magic, City Law, LLC a call today at 205-582-2832!

One of our first blogs outlined the benefits of getting a prenuptial agreement. From Kanye shouting “we want prenup, we want prenup” to the amount of relationships based on cohabitation and not marriage, the need for a prenup these days is growing, whereas the understanding behind them is not. Kanye makes it seem like a prenup will help when she’s misusing her child support for things like lipo instead of Tyco. That’s not necessarily how a prenup works. In certain situations, prenups aren’t just there to keep a gold digger out of your piles o’ gold. They are there to put your mind at ease when It comes to the financial security of your future. Further, they’re there to help you in the case of divorce.

Sometimes in a divorce, you may get a Judge that doesn’t follow the current case law. You may get a Judge who highly favors alimony or one who hates women and thinks no matter how long she’s been out of the market, she should just “get a job.” Prenups take away that uncertainty, but they’re also cold when looked at in black and white. The idea of approaching someone with a contract should you divorce, before you two have even started your marital life together, can be off putting. The fact of the matter is, if handled correctly, prenups can be a great way to start off your life together because it forces you to look at your finances, your financial future, and plan ahead. Just like a will, it isn’t fun to do, but it is a smart way to take out the uncertainty. Here are a few things you should look at when deciding if you want a prenuptial agreement:

  1. Estate Planning. You need to make sure that your prenup and your estate planning go hand in hand. The last thing you want is for each spouse to sign away all of their interest in the other’s estate thinking that means only in the face of divorce. Then, when a tragic death occurs, they realize it included their estate upon death as well. If one document says that your spouse gets everything, and the other document waives their right to everything, your planning has gone to waste and you may just have a fight on your hands with the family members. You need to keep complications to a minimum by hiring someone who can give you peace of mind.
  2. Debt. You must look at your debts going into marriage. If there are certain debts that your soon to be spouse has incurred that are ongoing in nature, and you don’t want to take them on, we suggest that you make sure you won’t end up having to touch them. If they are laid out in black and white, and the creditors come a calling, you have a document saying, what they can and can’t touch and who they can go after for that debt. Further, if your spouse begins getting a little crazy with the Amex or multiple clothing credit cards, make sure you handle that in a post-nupt before it drives you into a divorce. By showing your spouse that it is not joint debt, and that they are responsible for it alone, they may learn really fast what the value of money really is.
  3. Custody. Custody is not something that you need to include in a prenup because custody and child support are to be determined by the Court. However, children should be considered when you are looking at the overall finances of your estate. If the wife stays home to care for children, there should be a provision which should account for that. Perhaps you should think about renegotiating after the birth of each child. If one party stays home to raise the children for years, this should be accounted for in the agreement. Along the same lines, if there are other children from a former relationship living in the home, this needs to be addressed for their interest in their parent’s estate.
  4. Pet Custody. Pet custody is an entirely different story. As pets are seen as property, they can be divided in your prenuptial agreement. This is a time where you can determine who would get each furbaby and the finances of taking care of that pet. This is something to consider especially if you are both close with the animals. You can outline a visitation schedule if you plan on sharing the pets. You can dictate who will make what vet payments. Think about it, would you marry that person if you knew they were going to take your dog from you?
  5. Alimony. This is a hot item. Alimony is the number one reason people get prenups. They are terrified the wife is going to get alimony without a prenup, and there are laws which support this theory, depending on each situation. Alimony is one of those things that each month, when it comes due, the person writing that check is NOT happy about. The divorce was already contentious and having to watch the other person receive money from you, is a kick to the gut each month. This is another area in which renegotiation, every few years, is a good idea. As mentioned above, if the woman ends up giving up her career to raise the children, and the husband fully supported that, should she then end up with no alimony 15 years later when she can’t get a job due to no experience?
  6. Business Interests. The best way to protect your business, is to make sure it is laid out in your prenup who owns what portion of what business. If one person is the “talent” and the other is helping run the business, it helps to put that into the prenup. Simply because he or she is answering the phone and scheduling appointments, doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she should get a large interest in your business. However, think ahead, is this person going to help you to the detriment of their financial future? Will they put their career on hold in order to help you build your business? A prenuptial agreement is there to keep you both financially secure and if one person is helping build a business, they should be compensated for their contributions.
  7. Personal Property. The amount of divorce negotiations that fall apart due to “stuff” is shocking. People will argue over curtains, guns, dvds, lego sets, and collectables for hours. Before you get married, and you have years of commingling assets, set forth who brought what into the marriage. This will help from getting caught in a “mine” shaft.
  8. Real Property. This is one of those things where it should also be reassessed every so often. If things are going great, purchasing a house together can be great. However, if things go sour, the different properties that are being paid for out of joint accounts, or simply acquired, should be addressed. Who gets the house? Who pays the bills associated with it? Who made the down payment? Where did the down payment come from? Are there other pieces of property that should be considered like a vacation home? The house is a huge issue, especially when kids and school districts are involved.
  9. Wrongful Acts. What better way to say that you’ll always be faithful, than to put some money on the line. Celebs put provisions in their prenups all the time relating to adultery or even drug use. It’s one thing to sign away all rights to alimony, and your spouse’s estate, when you’re a fool in love. It’s a whole ‘nother story when you devote your life to someone only to find lipstick on his boxers and you know if you leave him, you’re penniless. Make sure that this is addressed. Sometimes the key to his chastity belt is his wallet.
  10. Retirement. This is something that should be considered, just like alimony. Retirement is another point of contention when a divorce occurs. The problem occurs, once again, when one party has given up a career to care for the children. This is when retirement should be considered based off of the years that you two have been married. If your spouse could have, but simply didn’t, start their own retirement, there’s a good reason to protect your retirement.

Prenups & Celeb Break Ups!

Why are we all so fascinated with celebrity divorces? From Mel and Robyn Gibson with a final divorce settlement of $425 million to the scandalous Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren headline stealing $100 million (that’s what “anti-cheating clauses” are for…hint hint), celeb divorces are full of $$$ and intrigue. The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver’s exact settlement is still unknown, but estimated to be somewhere between $250-$375 million!!! Whew! Now, THAT is a lot of money.

 You would think after these marriage debacles future celebs might be taking a hint from their not so fortunate colleagues.  Nope! Madonna and Guy Ritchie, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, The Dream and Christina Milian… not one of them thought a prenup might (just might!) be a good idea. Conclusion? Messy divorces with financial complications. 

 NOW, we come to my favorite subject: Kelsey Grammar….oh, Kelsey. You are so beloved in the public eye even after leaving your wife of 13 years with whom you have two children for a flight attendant who is 25 years your junior. Can’t exactly say we feel sorry for you, but the fact she walked away with $30 million makes it sting a little less (not for you obviously). However, to make matters worse she was also your 3rd wife.

After 11 seasons of playing psychiatrist, Dr. Crane, on Frasier it seems like you would’ve picked up at least the slightest inkling that some serious therapy was needed in that relationship. It didn’t occur on your 3rd time around to take a few precautions??? This my friends, is a man who is a true glutton for punishment.

Of course, I can’t leave out Larry. Larry King, what were you thinking?!?!?! Either you’re just a hopeless romantic or well….you’re just hopeless. The man is currently on his 8th wife. Obviously, no prenup. Why start now Larry? Is the 8th time the charm? She may just walk away with quite a fortune, unless his previous seven ladies already took the goods.

 No article on celebrity marriages would be complete without a short bio of my favorite divorcée. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, Mrs. Zsa Zsa Gabor (currently, she retains the prefix “Mrs.”) who has been married…wait for it…NINE times! Luckily, Mrs. Gabor made her current hubby sign a prenup. (smart lady!) Thank goodness she kept her maiden name along the never-ending marital journey. Can you only imagine how confusing that would get?!?

My favorite quote from Zsa Zsa simply reinforces the need for prenuptial agreements. On numerous television appearances, she has been quoted as stating, “I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.” So, to conclude my “stupid mistakes celebrities make when getting married” rant, GET A PRENUP! Prenups are definite. Marriages are not.

 

P.S.- If you’re already married without a prenup, there is such a thing as a post-nup!

10 Reasons YOU Need a Prenup

Thinking of a prenup? Give us a call TODAY at 205-582-2832

Thinking of a prenup? Give us a call TODAY at 205-582-2832

Princess Pauper has found her Prince Charming. In a whirlwind courtship, she’s been “upgraded” from a caretaker of furry critters in the forest to next in line to rule the Kingdom. She’s ready to become Mrs. Charming, but there’s one catch: Charming wants her to sign a prenuptial agreement. He’s spent years building this kingdom, and that Kingdom is one arrow away from falling into inexperienced hands.

She’s completely aghast at the misconstrued concept that he would leave her penniless. On the same note, Princess Pauper has been spinning thread into gold and has a side business growing steadily with her business partner Sir White Knight. She could be making millions in a matter of months, and if Charming doesn’t watch himself – she may just run off with that White Knight over there!

Of course, there are no prenuptial agreements in fairy tales, because they all live happily ever after. However, in the real world, we have to protect our assets. Prenuptial Agreements, Post nuptial Agreements, Partnership Agreements, and the like are a very good safety net to have before you tie the knot. Here are reasons to sign a prenuptial agreement:

 1. You own a business. (or a Kingdom) : If you are a business owner, there is a good chance that you’ve done the research and earned your reputation in that business. Do you want to leave it to chance that your spouse gets a portion of your business? You could be answering to that person for years to come whether or not they have a clue as to how to run that business. They could run your business into the ground just to spite you years after your divorce.

 2. You are getting remarried: If you have children from a previous marriage, and you wish to protect those children from the downfall of a divorce or even a sudden death, it is very important to sign a prenuptial agreement dictating your assets go to your children before they go to your spouse. Imagine if Cinderella’s dad had a prenuptial agreement and/or estate plan!

 3. Marriage: Sometimes people fear marriage. They’re terrified that the other person will eventually take all their money and leave them. Having a prenuptial agreement provides the safety net to boost the idea of marriage. Instead of fearing it, take it head on! Secure your financial future by planning ahead.

 4. One of you is supporting the other through college, specialized training, or the start of a new business: If one person in the couple is doing the heavy lifting now, it only makes sense that that person sees the fruits of their labor. Your significant other should understand that if you’re making this investment now, you deserve to see the benefits of your help later! (There are plenty of times we hear that our clients have paid for their significant other to build their business, and once it takes off, the person leaves the other in debt… Don’t let that happen!!!)

 5. One of you is much wealthier than the other: (Do I really have to explain this?)

 6. One of you has substantial debt, that is continuing to be accrued: (Again, do I?)

 7. There is a significant age difference between the two of you: This is especially important if there is no estate planning in place, and one of you is very close to “kicking the bucket.” Insensitive? Maybe, but even Kanye agree’s that when there’s a potential gold digger involved, holler “We want prenup! We want Prenup!”

 8. One of you is giving up a very good career to be a “stay at home” mother or father: Listen, staying at home with your children should be rewarded, especially if you went from having a great money producing independent career to depending on your spouse’s income. You don’t want to spend years at home while others are building experience in your field, only to end up without a safeguard years down the road. You may never end up without this problem, but don’t chance it!

 9. He/She has a wandering eye or is constantly propositioned by others: Maybe your spouse is a politician or a movie star, or just really really ridiculously good looking. (Yes, that was a Zoolander reference), but if you have a contract that says your spouse has to pay out a large amount if they stray, the deterrent will probably outweigh the temptation. Jessica Biel threw one of these clauses into her prenup with Justin stating that if he cheated, he’d owe her half a million!

 10. You’ve had a divorce that was messy: This is pretty obvious too. Very similar to multiple reasons above, this one just provides a good contingency plan that helps get you back in the game and alleviates any fears you may be having of jumping back into marriage.