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Financial prep for marriage?

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August 29, 2018

Could you guys tell me what is the best way to prep financially before getting married to protect my savings from being gutted in a divorce one day? Just keep the account solely in my name and never commingle it or use it for the marriage? Like I'm wondering how not to lose half or more of it and keep it from wife if I need to? Also wondering how often you guys see spousal support in divorces where the husband pays her his whole life?

Edit: Ok, thanks for all the advice on "don't do it" but that's not what I'm asking. The question is how to protect myself in preparing for getting married. Not, should I get married.

Post Information
Title Financial prep for marriage?
Author wtg2989
Upvotes 7
Comments 50
Date 29 August 2018 12:49 PM UTC (2 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Original Link
Similar Posts

[–]creating_my_life10 points11 points  (3 children) | Copy

Yes, here's the right steps. I've been married a while and can help with this.

First, you and your lovely fiance need to clear the air, and sit down and look at ALL finances. Savings, checking, bills, EVERY credit card, car loans, mortgages, student loans--everything. Pull a credit report. Make sure you know HER full financial situation.

Have an honest and long talk about your feelings toward finances, expenses, savings, vacations, and more. If you're not aligned here, life will be difficult.

Read up on The Millionaire Next Door. Curb your bad spending habits.

After you've done all this, cancel the engagement and don't fucking get married because you'll get fucked anyways.

[–]BobbyPeruRed Beret1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy

Pull a credit report. Make sure you know HER full financial situation

This x 1 million

I’ve been married 10 years, RP for 2 1/2 years.

About 7 years into my marriage I found out about the extent of my wife’s spending addiction. She had hidden credit cards and straight up lied to my face about her student loan and ccard amounts.

7 years she was able to hide this. Now, if I’m really OMS, the signs were there , but I was too BP to call her on it until one day I finally got the balls and uncovered it all. I backed her into a corner and she had no choice but to admit her deception.

I actually recommend pulling a credit report a couple times a year, not just before marriage..

[–]RuleZeroDADRed Beret0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Pull it for free once a year for all three CR Agencies. What you do then, is in April pull Equifax, in August pull TransUnion, and in December pull Experian. This will give you three reports per year right at the time most shitty spending occurs.

It's not just about debt, it's what she has spent on in the past, which translates to high spending limits. Does she need a $7,500 limit at Sephora? $5,000 at Victoria's Secret if she's wearing a ratty hockey sweater to bed every night?

It's as much about the ability to spend like a drunken Kardashian, as it is about current debt.

[–]BobbyPeruRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Yeah that about nails it - 70% her debt was created by spending like a drunken Kardashian- like money grows on trees. Since then, I’ve been able to mostly reel her in...

[–][deleted] 14 points15 points  (0 children) | Copy

Don't go through with it.

[–]BIG_HUB4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

Pre-nup, or don’t get married. Put kids in the mix you’re fucked anyway.

[–]drty_prRed Beret2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Prenup (why get married anyway)

Prepaid visas, cash stashed at your moms, etc.

[–]ParaXilo2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Don't do it.

[–]31Olives2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Easy, don't get married!

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy

I think the best thing to do is forget about the money. When I signed a lease to a townhome I knew that regardless of what I did I was never getting that damn deposit back. I treat my marriage exactly the same. I expect to lose every damn thing I care and love about. I think that when you do this then you can prepare yourself for the day it arrives.

[–]wtg2989[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

So every penny? Not even a measly savings account or rainy day fund can stay mine, it's all gone?

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer. If you do go through divorce you folllow the guides here. You want to do damage control and the best way to do that is by being her friend. Make the split appear to be amicable.

The harsh reality though is nothing of yours is guaranteed to be yours forever. You’re going to lose everything that you have in the end. The less attached you can be the easier it is to kill the puppy.

[–]RedPillCoach2 points3 points  (3 children) | Copy

You are going to get roasted.

There is absolutely no effective way to protect your finances and savings from being gutted in a divorce. Prenup? Think again. A Prenup is whatever the judge says it is and can be thrown out on a whim.

However, if you BOTH have lawyers and you both negotiate a reasonable and fair agreement as a prenup before marriage then most of the time courts will uphold it.

However, reasonable and fair depends on the State and the State laws. You can get a little bit better deal with a prenup than is allowed for by your State laws but usually not a LOT better deal. You cannot hide a single dime of money or the judge can use this to manufacture a reason to throw out your agreement.

Now, how do you "hide" money if you want to run this without a Prenup? Short answer, you can't. Anything you do could be construed as fraud. Although obviously there are "arrangements" you could make that would be less fraudulent and less likely to result in you going to federal poundmeintheass prison, I don't think you can do things like 'give it to a relative without what we call a "Constructive Trust" resulting (i.e. the judge could order your Dad to pay 1/2 the money or more to the ex-wife) and denying that you gave him the money in anticipation of marriage would be clear fraud.

This is not a bad question and perhaps our good friend /u/Red-Curious has some input?

[–]Red-Curious0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

To /u/wtg2989:

This is a good answer. A pre-nup is doable, but it is very difficult to draft them in a way that will actually be upheld. I've never had one of mine overturned (not to say it won't ever happen), but here's what I make sure to include:

  • An exhibit at the end outlining all known assets and liabilities of both parties showing the institution, last 4 digits of the account number, amount, and date of valuation. This exhibit also has a stipulation for the other side to sign that they have personally reviewed your statements and assured with their own eyes that the numbers are accurate and that they have no reason to believe you have any assets and/or liabilities not mentioned on the sheet. You'd have to be an idiot to hide a premarital asset anyway - the more you disclose on the sheet the better.

  • It's got to have a paragraph defining "income" for support purposes. Do you want to include phantom stock options? Do you want to include personal injury settlements? Do you want to include untaxable sources of income? Do you want to include passive income from assets regardless of whether or not you withdraw it from the asset? Make your definition very clear.

  • Still on support: make sure you have a mutual stipulation of each of your anticipated earning potentials. Inflate your earning potential as much as possible within reason. Have her agree, "I understand that with his career he may be able to earn up to $400,000 annually as an accountant, and I still agree to these restrictions on spousal support even in that situation." But don't say "up to $400,000 annually if he ever changes career paths from his current profession of being a janitor" - no court will buy that. If you're a janitor, put the maximum income a managerial janitor could potentially earn ... who knows, in some prestigious places that could well be over $100,000 anyway.

  • Make sure to include a provision specifically acknowledging that nothing in the agreement intends to limit or restrict child support, but that any child support award would be a dollar-for-dollar offset against any spousal support payments otherwise contemplated by the prenup. You cannot legally (at least in my state) prenup away your child support obligation, but you can do so constructively by taking it out of your spousal support obligation.

  • Make sure the other side also has an attorney who signs the document. This is a mandatory prerequisite.

  • Include a choice of law provision stating which state's laws will apply for the enforcement of the prenup - and make that state reasonable in light of where either of you are living at the time, but pick whichever state has more favorable laws for prenup enforcement (yes, there is a difference from state to state).

  • Include a provision affirming that BOTH active and passive income from FINANCIAL separate property assets shall remain separate to the degree of any historically applied patterns. For example: if you have always contributed $500/mo to your 401k, technically after the wedding day that's $500/mo of marital funds and not separate funds, which could be construed as commingling; but I have managed to successfully argue to a judge that maintenance of a historical pattern of contribution to separate property pursuant to a prenup can still be qualified as separate property even after the marriage. So, if after the marriage you start contributing $600 to the account, you either lose the provision entirely or you lose half of the extra $100 (each judge will feel differently). Needless to say, the safer way to do this would be to create a separate account just before the marriage so that this continuation of historical payments doesn't present any risk of commingling the bulk of the assets.

  • Include a provision regarding NON-FINANCIAL separate property assets that both active and passive increases in valuation shall remain as separate. Many times a guy will have his own business worth $500,000 at the time of the marriage, then divorce with it being worth $3,000,000. He thinks it's his business from before the marriage so he should just get it. Not so. He actively contributed to growing the business during the marriage, so the $2.5mil of active appreciation is half hers. He could try to argue that a portion of it is passive appreciation, and a skillful forensic accountant could present that evaluation, but it certainly won't be all or most of it. By making active valuation increases a part of the prenup, what you're saying is that you get to keep the fruit of your labor as far as the asset itself is concerned, though the income derived from that is otherwise used to benefit both parties both during the marriage and after the divorce (pursuant to the restrictions you put in, per the above, of course).

  • NEVER put a total bar to all support. That's a sure way to guarantee the prenup is thrown out. Always say, "support will be provided upon the following conditions ..." then reference the above.

  • NEVER try to include custody and parenting responsibilities in a prenup. That's a sure way to get it thrown out as being overreaching.

I'm sure there's more, but I'm running late and that's all I could squeeze out in 8 minutes. Good luck.

[–]wtg2989[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I don't think she even has the savings for a lawyer before our wedding. How much would two attorneys cost for a prenup?

[–]RedPillCoach0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

A lot but it is worth every penny. If she is also represented it is much harder to reject a prenup.

However, important point- each State is different. See a local attorney on this issue.

[–]WesternhagenWinner1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

See a financial advisor about creating a revocable living trust before the marriage and putting your pre-marital assets in it.

[–]wtg2989[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Ok, thanks for all the advice on "don't do it" but that's not what I'm asking. The question is how to protect myself in preparing for getting married. Not, should I get married.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

OP: "I'm planning to stick my nuts in an industrial meat-grinder. Should I put some kind of antiseptic on my scrotum beforehand so I don't get an infection after the machine rips my nutsack from my body and my mangled testicles dangle, shredded, in the intake hopper?"

Look, I get where you're coming from. I was in denial too when I was young and naive, and nobody could tell me not do do it. But look at it this way. You remember in Karate Kid, when Mr Miyagi says "Best defense against kick is not be there"?. Divorce rates close to 50%. Maybe with RP knowledge its a little better than that, maybe if you go Rambo it's a little worse. But you're going into this with an attitude that already says, "there's a serious possibility I'm going to get fucked". Why bother optimizing getting sodomized by the machine, when you could choose not to get sodomized at all? Ah well, I know, deaf ears....

BTW, if you want to know why I'm bitter, think of well over a quarter mil after-tax earnings paid (on top of the property and equity losses) to a woman who treated herself to home reno's, vacations to Africa, landscaping and a pool, while my kids text me for extra money for tampons and shampoo because "mom says there's no pocket money because you only pay the minimum". Yeah. Just no.

[–]simbarlionRed Beret1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy

I am going to weigh into this with a different view from the don't get married cause you'll get fucked perspective.

Cause you might get fucked, BUT you hopefully have vetted this chick to the best of your abilities. Maybe she's the best you'll get. Maybe she has a great family. Whatever. You have chosen her. Good one.

So look at this like you are joining the airforce. Its going to be heaps of fun, travel, money, friends, companionship. Fringe Benefits. But one day, just one day, a war might start (its not your war) and you might get called up to fly into syria or afghanastan, and get blown to fucking shit. Game over.

So what are you going to do? Site on the sideline? Or take your chances?

You are going into this fearing what you might lose, not looking at what you might gain. Go all in. Or don't go at all.

[–]SorcererKingMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

Difference here is that if the war comes, he's guaranteed to be a casualty. That changes the expected value of the whole thing.

[–]simbarlionRed Beret1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

But who wants to be to top gun pilot in the airforce who doesn't go to war and die because he found a loophole.

Divorce Rape is like being cucked. Its the fear of the outcome that is holding you back, not the outcome itself. Let go of what you think the future is going to be. Thats Disney.

[–]wtg2989[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

That's kind of my only reason to blow off my fear of getting married. Even though I'm considering a bad outcome a real possibility, fear of said outcome is all that holds me back. Fear instilled mostly by a bunch of internet randos.

[–]JDRoedellRed Beret3 points4 points  (13 children) | Copy

Have a wedding, get a ring if you want but don’t sign any papers. No marriage licenses nothing with the courthouse. If she has real problems with that then ask why you can’t trust her? (Pressure flip). Negative assertion; what’s wrong with us just being together without the state officializing it ?

[–]Rian_StoneMod / Red Beret2 points3 points  (12 children) | Copy

Being this exact guy you reference, I would suggest the pressure flip may be a delaying tactic, not a solve.

"This is what I'm doing, take it or leave it" when your frame is spewing this from every pore, It may prove more useful in the long term

[–]JDRoedellRed Beret0 points1 point  (5 children) | Copy

Yes, you’re probably the resident expert on the private marriage model

[–]Rian_StoneMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (4 children) | Copy

/u/cholomite is there as well don't forget.

the only thing I will say, I am positive that the marriage contract isn't the issue. Same problems, same solutions. Only difference is some shekels.

I have a hard time believing that the only difference between a plow horse and a CAD is a 20k legal fee.

[–]JDRoedellRed Beret0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

True. OP was asking from a “financial” POV so that was my answer. But yes, you could absolutely be legally single and still be a plow horse for a woman.

[–]Rian_StoneMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

Was talking with Jack Murphy on this today. He has his wife, his ex, and a rotation of plates they share.

He only pays for one of them, guarantee many beta-bux are subsidizing his lifestyle

[–]JDRoedellRed Beret0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Good on him

[–]Rian_StoneMod / Red Beret1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Hey, it's how modern harems work

[–]Red-Curious0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

More to u/JDRoedell - that tactic would never work anyway. My office had a case exactly like that. The court considered it a technical defect to an otherwise legitimate marriage. Having a ceremony is enough that it can screw a guy if the court wants to.

Also, even if you don't have the ceremony, we had one where they started filing taxes jointly and that was enough for them to be deemed legally married. Common law marriage being revoked is merely a facade, based on some of the stories I hear and see.

[–]Rian_StoneMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

in My jurisdiction, the legal differences:

  1. No 12 month separation requirement

  2. arbitration is sufficient

  3. court will accept whatever deal you decide upon, assuming the kids won't starve

  4. QC doesn't reckognize it.

Beyond that, it's functionally identical, minus the jesus types getting mad about it not counting...

no offense

[–]SorcererKingMod / Red Beret2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

Take your savings and get yourself a set of gold teeth. They protect your wealth against inflation and look so good you'll have no problem attracting plates.

Oh, no wait, that's totally retarded -- just like you wanting to get married. Don't do it.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

it works fine for this dude:

[–]jahesus1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

DONT FUCKING DO IT. You will get fucked. Everything you build, will be dismantled brick by brick and you will be blind to it. Always remember, AWALT. Shes not yours, its just your turn.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

prep financially before getting married to protect my savings from being gutted in a divorce one day

Well... if you live in a western developed country: you can't.

So make whatever decision you are going to make with that in mind.

[–]Rian_StoneMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

My stepfather did the only successful strategy I've ever seen on this front. He would rather burn it down than give it away.

King solomon is the divorce model, as best I can tell

[–]weakandsensitive0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

He would rather burn it down than give it away.

King solomon is the divorce model, as best I can tell

No reason you have to choose the model now. Pick at the time.

[–]matrixtospartanatLVRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

See a family law attorney in YOUR state.

They will know the mechanisms used to take your money, hence; how to protect it.

It’s a great question, it may not have a great answer.

MY suggestion?

Give it to your parents to add to your inheritance.

In most states, receiving an inheritance is untouchable by the spouse.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

I having money automatically debited bi-weekly or monthly into a Roth IRA that's only under your name. ( is a great place to set this up. You don't even have to think much and their fees are super reasonable). You can also invest on your own and only keep the things under your name. If you don't know much about stocks, set up DRIP plan on a site like Make sure you find a company that doesn't charge any fees for dividend reinvesting or to purchase new shares. Not saying to buy these ones, but a few companies that fit that criteria are COP and CWT. Hiding out in stocks is great because chicks have no idea what stocks are. You could also save up $8K and go buy yourself a badass Omega Seamaster watch.

[–]wtg2989[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

So no such thing as my own bank account?

[–]SorcererKingMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I don't think any of this would work. Once he's married, even the money he earns is half hers.

[–]screechhaterRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Straight up. Own your shit.

It all becomes 50/50.

Read the sidebar. Remain in frame and attractive. This becomes less of a situation to worry about.

However, read all the comments and realize this ain’t no shit. You had better be ready. No matter how special your unicorn is

[–]SteelSharpensSteelMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

If you're that determined to self-harm, go see a lawyer.

[–]Th3JourneyRed-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

No-fault marriage is not marriage. It's a tool for the primary "caregivers" (overwhelmingly women) to abuse the primary providers (overwhelmingly men). Even modern marriage licenses did not exist until the twenties and were a tool to prevent interracial relationships.

You are walking into a legal institution that has never been about love and mutual support.

I strongly recommend against this approach, but... If you really want some sort of obligation between you and your spouse and aren't in a common law state, get a lawyer and draw up an actual contract. Layout the expectations you each have that you think should incur a penalty and render your relationship void. Be very clear on how assets will be split. Consider custody. Have a ceremony and sign the agreement. Refer to each other as partners.

Otherwise, just have a ceremony and explain to her that you're not entering into a legal institution that allows her to hold the your assets hostage over any disagreement.

The absolute last thing you can do is sign a marriage license with her, if you want to be able to view the fruits of your labor as anything other than an ever growing pile of reasons for her to leave your ass.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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