Dear Quentin, I got married just over 2 years ago and have been in the same relationship for over 10 years. We have both been single parents from previous relationships. Considering our age difference, he is much more successful in life as a sole proprietor. He is 56 years old and I am 40. He talked about a prenup during our relationship, but didn’t tell me until 3 days before our wedding day.
“‘I’m mad at myself right now because there are provisions that I would have included if I’d had more time to think about it.’ ”
I still don’t fully understand what happened, and now I’m mad at myself because there are provisions that I would have included if I had had more time to think about it. My parents will want me a house and a good amount of cash. I am not in his will, there is no life insurance policy and it does not appear in the deed of the second vacation home that “we” bought before we were married, but it means that everything is ours. Technically, it is not. Now that I’m about to start my own business, which can be profitable, potentially six figures a year, I want to amend the prenup. Somehow, I want to hurt him in the same way that he hurt me. It has caused a lot of resentment on my part, as I feel that he never trusted me, even though I have never asked him for anything. If he dies tomorrow, what will happen to me? Should I amend the prenuptial agreement? Is it possible that the current prenuptial agreement is null and void? Post-nuptial State of Mind in Pennsylvania You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to the coronavirus at firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Post-nuptial: You should know what is in your own prenup, as it is a legal document that both of you signed. I don’t understand why you didn’t have a copy when you originally signed the document and why you didn’t actively pursue a discussion. With the help of his attorney, that was his job to make sure that happened. You had the option of canceling the wedding and / or sitting down and reading every page. I’m not saying this is provocative, but to remind you that taking responsibility for this sequence of events is more constructive than taking offense at your husband. But let’s be very clear: three-day notice of a prenuptial agreement before your wedding without any willingness to commit to the details or discuss them is a lack of consideration, and is a chaotic and unsettling start to a marriage. I understand why it left you stunned and why you felt confused and angry at the same time. Prenuptial contracts can be enforced in Pennsylvania, which is a matrimonial property state, which means that in the absence of a prenuptial contract, assets are distributed fairly and equitably. The inheritance is not considered marital property, so you don’t need to worry on that front. Your prenuptial agreement should reflect that you both keep your finances / assets separate in the event of a divorce. In other words, what is his is his and what is yours is yours. It cannot have both. According to Rowe Law Offices in Pennsylvania, “Historically, courts sometimes set aside prenuptial agreements when they were unreasonable; left a spouse destitute; were made without full disclosure of a spouse’s property and debt; they were signed under duress or without mental capacity; were the product of fraud or misrepresentation; etc. “Should I amend the prenuptial agreement? You can certainly create an amendment, as long as you both agree, or sign a new postnuptial contract that replaces the original contract. But that’s a question that only you can answer based on what you actually do. says the prenuptial agreement, and if your attorney thinks it is written in a way that gives both of you the same financial independence after divorce. The whole thing seems complicated and unpleasant. It was not a good way to embark on a marriage and, like Tangent to your question, it is not a good way to proceed. Certainly, something must change. From the little you have said, it appears to be a marriage that lacks transparency and mutual respect. You need a financial therapist, mediator, or your own counselor to examine the causes and cures of this toxic atmosphere Starting a business should be a time of optimism and joy, not immersed in a business revenge fantasy of “show you and”. Getting married is the most important financial decision you will ever make, if only because divorce affects one individual and because they may end up taking turns supporting each other. If this marriage ends, both of you must leave with what you contributed. Given that, the real issue here is not what happens in the event of a divorce, but everything that comes before it. The Moneyist: My wife has homeschooled our son and the son of our best friends since September due to COVID-19. Is it too late to bring up the subject of money? Hello MarketWatchers. Take a look at Moneyist’s private FB Facebook group, + 0.87%, where we search for answers to life’s thorniest money problems. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or comment on the latest Moneyist columns. By emailing your questions, you agree to have them posted anonymously on MarketWatch. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions of it, on all media and platforms, including third parties.