Question: I want to make my son get a prenup before he gets married. The girl he's planning on marrying next summer doesn't have a respectable job, suffers from bipolar disorder and depression and dropped out of high school in the 10th grade. She's never met her father because he's in prison and her mother got drunk at Thanksgiving and admitted that she was once a “crack whore” to support her drug habit.
My son was raised in a good environment. I'm an art dealer and my husband is a minister and a stock broker. We sent our son away to a well-known preparatory school for high school and he attended college and graduate school at Georgia Tech and Emory University.
I think he met her at some kind of strip club in Atlanta. But he told me they met at an art history lecture at the High Museum.
She and her mother have many tattoos and her mother asked me if I wanted to see some of her more “private” piercings. Of course I said no to that.
I think my son needs to get a prenuptial agreement before he gets married. If he doesn't and they get divorced, I worry about what will become of his assets. She'll try to take him for everything he's worked for.
Can I have you draft a prenup for them and make them sign it? I need to do something, fast. I will gladly pay for the prenup.
A.H. in Sandy Springs, Georgia
Answer: While a prenuptial agreement sounds like it would be a smart idea for your son, you cannot just have it drafted and make him and his fiancé sign it. He and his fiancé have to agree that a prenup is warranted. They each must fully disclose their assets. They should each be represented by an attorney.
We hear from a lot of parents who ask questions about prenups because they believe it would benefit their children. While a parent can certainly suggest getting a prenup, they cannot force a prenup upon anyone.
You might want to explain to your son that prenups are really a smart move and that they strengthen a marriage because it allows both parties to know how assets will be divided if they divorce. Encourage him to do some research and he'll understand why prenups are so popular.
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