Law Office of Janet Langjahr
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Lynn had been burned in her first marriage, right after college. She had put everything she had owned and inherited into joint accounts with her husband. |
And he had cleaned her out right before he skipped out on her.
Over the years that followed, Lynn matured into a hard-working, successful professional. She was organized and goal-oriented.
Lynn was a lot less naÔve when she finally met someone else she wanted to give marriage another try with. Lynn loved Alan and he seemed like a great guy.
But Alan was neither as driven nor as successful as Lynn. That was Lynnís one concern, and it nagged at her during their lengthy courtship.
Lynn finally told Alan that she wanted a pre-nup, or pre-nuptial agreement, before she would marry him.
Thatís when Lynn first came to me. I advised Lynn how, with a pre-nup, fiances can agree in advance how property accumulated during marriage will be divided in the event of their divorce - or the death of one of them. In essence, a pre-nup permits fiances to re-write the divorce and inheritance laws that apply to them.
We also discussed the best strategies for Lynn to manage her pre-marital (and certain limited types of post-marriage) assets to keep them her separate personal property in the eyes of the law.
Alan insisted he wasnít interested in Lynnís money and readily agreed to enter into a comprehensive pre-nup.
Within months after their marriage, Lynn and Alan were clashing more and more over their different approaches to life. Alan had always been laidback, maybe even lazy. Alan became secretive and defensive about his work and finances. If Lisa asked even a casual question, Alex would harshly criticize her intrusion and point out that she had enough to do tending to her own shortcomings and mistakes.
Lynn just wanted to build financial security for her future. Naturally, she wanted Alan to build for his future too.
But the next thing Lynn knew, bill collectors were calling and writing to Alan at home. Lots of them.
Panic-stricken, Lynn knew she couldnít continue to live with Alan the way he was living.
Perhaps it was just bad timing or perhaps something more that had always been there under the surface. Alan reacted very badly to the news that Lynn wanted a divorce. He belittled Lynn and became intimidating toward her. Lisa was shocked when he complained about how much money he had lost because of their marriage and demanded "reimbursement".
In the end, Lynn was relieved that she had gone to the trouble of signing a thorough pre-nuptial agreement and getting legal advice about how to manage her personal assets to protect them from Alan. Her investment in a pre-nup probably saved her a small fortune in divorce litigation fees and costs.
NOTE: Every case is different. Just because Lynn achieved this outcome doesn't mean that your case will.
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