I asked my 30-year-old fiancé to sign a prenuptial agreement for her spending. She refused. Is it wrong to secretly trust my assets?

Dear Moneyist,

I am a 28 year old man married to a 30 year old woman. By earning two graduate degrees, I have accumulated about $ 100,000 in student loan debt. Fortunately, I got a financial job with unlimited income and heavy working hours, so I’m not too worried about paying back the loan without the support of the Biden administration. ..

But my fiancé doesn’t have a student loan and doesn’t have as high an income cap as I do, she has heavy spending problems, but I’m essentially a saver. We will get married next year and plan to buy a house next year as well. Both costs are borne by us with limited support from our parents.

Moneyist:I married my husband 20 years ago. He has four children and I have one. I paid for the house. Who should inherit it after we leave?

My fiancé can’t save and because of her overspending, I know the financial burden is on my shoulders. We talked about her habits, but she can’t change, so it’s a good idea to keep our finances separate until I can see more financial responsibility from her. did. He also touched on prenuptial agreements to protect assets in case things get worse.

The conversation didn’t go well, and I think it would probably cause a divorce if it caused resentment before we got married and she felt forced to sign it. I love her so much, but I’m really worried. A friend of a real estate lawyer even recommended that I transfer my property to a trust and buy the first trust home.

Is it wrong not to discuss with my wife because I have considered this plan and already know that my wife does not agree to the prenuptial agreement? If things go wrong, I’m not going to keep her high and dry, but I also don’t want to lose everything I’ve gained from actively saving my entire life. PS I live in the state of community properties.


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Dear KC,

Putting a house or other property in a trust without telling your fiancé loses trust in the relationship and, as long as that trust exists, gets married sooner than if you were strongly armed to sign a prenuptial agreement. Is finished. She will know sooner or later, probably sooner. I don’t seem to trust her very much.

Without trust, you can’t have any kind of relationship. The founder of friendships, professional partnerships, and even boss / employee relationships when that trust is broken. That is, you are always waiting for the disadvantages to happen and no one likes to live or work under a cloud of suspicion. It certainly does not signal a loving, long and happy marriage.

As a general rule, family law lawyers do not exclude trusts to protect themselves in the event of a divorce. According to Romuro, Manson, Kammer, Brown & Shotland, a law firm based in Freehold, NJ, “The key to using a trust to protect assets in a divorce is in fine print. Trust must be written carefully. “

“If a spouse establishes a trust before marriage, the assets placed in the trust are usually considered separate property unless the funds are combined with the marriage funds at any given time,” the law firm added. I will. However, setting up such a trust also has drawbacks, such as costs, tax returns, and other restrictions on those assets.

Ultimately, if you have to spend a lot of time and effort establishing some kind of domestic asset trust, you need to be just as careful about whether you should get married, at least for now. If you interview 100 divorced couples, 50% will say, “You can’t change people.” The remaining 50% are those who could not change in their marriage.

Your wife has clarified her shopping stance. She is not to turn around. It only leaves you.

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Quentin Fottrell is a Moneyist columnist at MarketWatch. You can email financial and ethical questions to The Moneyist at By emailing your question, you agree to publish it anonymously on MarketWatch.

I asked my 30-year-old fiancé to sign a prenuptial agreement for her spending. She refused. Is it wrong to secretly trust my assets?

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