Dear Preston: Should I Be Offended By A Prenup?
April 29, 2016
After dating for two years, my fiancé and I became engaged and are just now finalizing the plans for our wedding in June. Though we have never spoken about it, he comes from a very wealthy family, one that I love very much (and I believe the feeling is mutual). Very recently, I received a letter from his family attorney, along with a prenuptial agreement, and was shocked since he and I have never discussed my signing an agreement. When I mentioned the letter and agreement, he claimed to not know anything about it and says that it is up to me whether or not to sign it. I feel I am being tested. What do you suggest I do?
I understand that you might be a little taken aback by the execution of the delivery of the agreement, but this is not an uncommon request from families that have accumulated wealth. I would suggest that you show the agreement to your lawyer, and if he thinks the terms are fair, sign it. I am not defending his actions, but I suspect your fiancé is feeling that pressuring you to sign the agreement may result in upsetting you and doesn’t want you to back out of the wedding. He may feel a responsibility to his family to protect the wealth that belongs to them.
It’s very common to have both lawyers discuss all of the financial details of a prenuptial agreement which, at times, can get ugly. It is for this reason that you should let them fight it out. Your relationship with your in-laws is very important, and I suspect they will find it reasonable for you to have your lawyer look it over. In the end, it is up to you to decide what terms you are comfortable with. Just keep in mind that this decision has nothing to do with the way he feels about you. I have seen more than one engagement end due to suspicions of gold digging so if that were the big concern, he would likely not marry you at all.
Dear Readers: What do you think about this situation? How would you respond? What kind of compensation should she be asking on the prenup from a very wealthy family?