February 8, 2023
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA

‘She has no ambition’: I’m 41, and make $100,000. I’m buying a home before getting married. My fiancée earns $50,000 and has $20,000 in student debt. What’s a fair prenup?


I have been in my current relationship for almost three years. I am a young woman, 41, have a great, stable career and earn about $ 100,000 a year. I am ambitious and my potential has increased my income to $ 10,000 per year. I have about $ 140,000 in savings, and no debt. I am close to closing a house, which will be fully funded by me.

My girlfriend, 38, does a few gig-type jobs that she likes and earns $ 50,000 a year. He has very little savings, and has a student loan of about $ 20,000, and is not in a position to buy or help with down payment / closing costs, etc. She lives from paycheck to paycheck, and she loves what she does, not being motivated to do anything else to do more.

We don’t live together, but we started discussing marriage, and planned to go together when I was off. My family is not thrilled with the relationship for a few reasons. My girlfriend doesn’t have a stable career. He has no ambitions, and significantly less than me.

‘My girlfriend, 38, does a few gig-type jobs that she likes and earns $ 50,000 a year. His savings are very low.

He understands and says he is happy to sign a prenup. I would add that my brother is going through a bad divorce so the whole family is on edge. We all live in Louisiana – a community-property-law state – and his cheating and gambling estranged wife is taking him on a cleaning mission.

In light of all this, I need help finding what is right for Prenup and our living conditions. For the pre-up, I thought we would not include any spouse support / maintenance money, no retirement account / contribution at the time of marriage and everyone owes their own debt at the time of marriage.

The new house and mortgage will be in my sole name. The mortgage will be paid off if I ever sell the house – not a divorce. Also, he will be rewarded for his contribution to capital improvement.

“We will create a household budget to cover the combined costs, mortgages, utilities, groceries, and meals together.”

As far as living arrangements are concerned, we will create a household budget that includes the combined costs of mortgages, utilities, groceries, meals, etc. We will share in the middle until we get married. After the wedding we will open a joint savings and checking account.

We each contribute the same percentage to our checking account to cover the family budget so that I pay more. We then contribute the same amount each month to a joint savings account to create a joint emergency fund.

I can’t plan for every event, and these pre-marital conversations are very uncomfortable. Is there anything else I don’t think? Does that seem fair to me and my partner?

Plan wedding and prenup

Dear plan,

I can answer your last question. Last question for your partner.

Marriage is a lot, but as you suggest, it’s a business deal in addition to the promise of spending the rest of your life together. Or, at the very least, demonstrate a willingness to do so. Before I get into the subtle nuances of your premarital sex, the overwhelming feeling of your letter is that one person holds all the cards, and another person who doesn’t see much. In fact, you mentioned that your family does not support the relationship, and your fianc is vaguely, perhaps unjustly, compared to your ex-brother-in-law.

I don’t get a clear idea from your letter that you respect and / or support your partner’s choice. If you doubt his reluctance to switch to a higher paying career instead of one that makes him happy – the differences in your perspectives will only get worse over time, especially as the financial imbalance in your relationship grows. Sharing your finances forensically will only go so far. Your letter was focused on money, but I guess I was hoping to read a nice thing about your fianc. And I’m sure he has a lot of subtle qualities.

‘I don’t get a clear idea from your letter that you respect and / or support your partner’s choice.’

– Semantics

There are no hard and fast rules for premarital sex. It really depends on what each party believes to be fair. Your fianc is signed up, but if you sell the house and you pay him back for his contribution to your mortgage, it will make sense (for him) if you apply this policy to a potential divorce. Otherwise, he will be punished if you split, but the result is the same for you. I would suggest that whatever percentage your fianc contributes to the mortgage is based on your salary. If you pay $ 1,000, he pays $ 500.

When you set up a joint account, you need to make sure that you do not use the mutual funds to make significant renovations or mortgages on your home. This will probably consolidate the property and turn it into a separate marital / communal property. Finally, “ambition” is a tactical word, and “no ambition” is a tactical word. You’re doing the equivalent of a salary with ambition, and your partner is close to the average salary in Louisiana. Ambition can also mean making a living by doing something you like.

This prenup protects you. I’m not sure it does just that for your fianc.

See Manist Private Facebook Group, where we find the answer to the problem of money fork in life. Readers are writing to me with all kinds of hesitations. Post your question, tell me what you want to know more about, or check out the latest Manist columns.

The semantist regrets that he cannot answer the question individually.

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Read more:

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‘They don’t have the best marriage’: My honest father bought a house 20 years ago before marrying my mother. He paid for a new roof and kitchen, but his name is not on the deed


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