Posted by: Gettin married | 2009-04-29

Ready to call it all off

My fiancé  and I are getting married and we were discussing the options with our lawyer.

We cannot agree on whether we should get married with Accrual or without.

He wants me to stay home with the kids which means I accrue nothing. He has his own business and he makes quite a bit of money –  if we get divorced I am entitled to only what I came into the marriage with –  which will be nothing! I wanted to be able to get half of what he accrues because he wants me to stay home.

He refuses because I am going to inherit a house from my mom and he will inherit nothing from his parents. So he says its fair. But I disagree because I often help him out with paying wages to his staff, and they are living on our premises and he often uses my vehicle for business purposes. I also help him with filing and doing the books for him on the weekends (I only do this on the weekends because I work full time during the week). He says he will pay me back for whatever money I give him and just call it a loan and that I am not entitled to anything more.

I don’ t think that is fair! My mother went through a very messy divorce with my father and we battled when he left –  we went through stages where we ate potatoes and dry bread or mixed hot water and tomato sauce for soup because we had nothing. I don’ t want my kids to go through that if we get a divorce.

I don’ t understand why he is so worried, if we got divorced he would still have a lot of money! He says why should I get ½  of his hard earned money if I stay home with the kids because as far as he is concerned I would have been on one long vacation!

How do we get passed this? How do we talk about this without it getting so ugly that we just don’ t get married at all? I am so worried and so hurt I am starting to think twice about marrying him!

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Our expert says:
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Of course, as a psychiatrist I can't answer legal questions, and in such choices, different people would validly make different choices. I think it is fair when a man wants his wife to stay at home ( saving him lots of money by providing valuable child-care and home-care ) a system that ignores her major contribution to his fortunes, giving this a zero value, and enabling him to increase his personal fortunes without sharing this with her, is inherently unfair. I think economists talk about lost opportunity costs, or something like that, in analyzing such situations.
The fact that you will in due course inherit something from your family, and he won't, is surely irrelevant. The marital arrangement is about what each of you contribute to the marriage. And of course, when you are contributing towards his staff wages and lending a vehicle, it is also unfair to ignore this. And of merely repay such loans, without interest, is unfair.
He sounds like the sort of guy who would eventually pay his kids only a small amount o pocket money, and would consider it a loan they must eventually repay.
A man who considers loking after the home and kids to be a vacation, is a man not fir to be married. Couple counselling muight help, but he'd probably see no need for it. If this is how mercenary and selfish he is before the mariage, it isn't going to get better afterwards. It is very understandable and sensible of you tom hesitate before marrying such a man --- he sounds as though he wants to marry a free housekeeper, baby-sitter, child-rearer and a free loan facility, more than a wife.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-04-29

Please dont go through with the marriage if these issues are not sorted out. Financial problems are so hectic within a marriage alone what about before the marriage? can you imagine how it would be then! please dont consider staying at home, please! most men just uses this to make you their slaves and they no that once you are out of a job that you wont get one soon. In that way they will always have control over you and then your kids are your responsibility alone. He sounds very selfish and you sound like you have a lot of love and caring to give. Please dont go into this closed eyes! Good luck!

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: nini | 2009-04-29

you are indian right?

Reply to nini
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-04-29

I suggest that you tell him that you are going to work and when his ready to sign the document then you will take care of the kids full time -dont think love is all rosy when the shit hits the fan they dont care a damn,take care of yourself and kids first .

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: My 2 cents'  worth | 2009-04-29

This guy sounds very selfish to me. I think it' s fair when both partners work for the marriage to be out of community of property - WHEN both are working and agree to it. Staying at home to raise kids is definitely no vacation - he does have a very chauvinistic attitude. It' s HIS kids you' ll be raising and staying at home for, HIS household consisting of HIS kids that you' ll be running while he' s busy with his business. It' s not fair and DO NOT get married until you have it sorted. And don' t be bullied into being a stay-at-home mum if that' s not what you want. What will happen if you get divorced and you have no career to speak of because you were tending to the kids and household. Only do what you' re comfortable with and don' t for a moment let love blind you so much that you don' t think about the future and how you' ll deal with those issues if they arise.

Reply to My 2 cents&#39  worth
Posted by: Liza | 2009-04-29

It sounds like you need some couples counselling before getting married. He needs to understand that staying home with kids is definitely NOT a vacation and that you need to be recompensed for that. If you' re also going to stop working because of the marriage (which I very strongly oppose), you will definitely have trouble getting back into the job market if you have to due to divorce. Since he does not want you to work, a definite clause should be in the prenup (whether with accrual or without) that he should at least give you a ' salary'  after your divorce, until you can find a good job again.(Waitressing at the Spur would not qualify!) And if you' ve been involved with his business, I don' t see why you won' t be involved in future, especially since you won' t have a full-time job and then it will only be fair if the prenup is with accrual.

So definitely get counselling with him BEFORE finalizing the prenup, so that he can understand what you will be sacrificing for him. Since all the sacrificing seems to be on your side and not his.

If a guy ever had this attitude with me, I would run a mile - not even get as far as engagement, never mind marriage!

Good Luck

Reply to Liza
Posted by: aint it sweet | 2009-04-29

love in the modern world...... aint it sweet

your not even in the church yet and your planning the divorce

Reply to aint it sweet
Posted by: Philna | 2009-04-29

Unsure of what to advise you on this one . But you have a point just make sure that you dont get a raw deal at the end of the day . I got married 4 years ago and never thought I would ever get divorced, today I' m divorced with nothing because I thought he had my best interests at heart when he asked me to stay at home and raise the kids . I did that for him and for my children , now he' s the one laughing all the way to the bank and I have nothing . I have always thought that it does not matter which marriage we choose because we will grow old together and never thought that the D word could do us part. Go with an open mind and dont be fooled . If you cant agree on terms then rather put the marriage on hold until you reeach an agreement .

Reply to Philna

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