by Stephanie Berenbaum & Brandi Savitt – April 29, 2011
When Your Honey Comes from Money
Millions of us sat in our PJ’s this morning sipping coffee and watching the Royal Wedding as commoner Kate Middleton turned into a real live princess right before our very eyes. And while marrying into a royal family might not be all too common, we’ve had friends find themselves in the position of marrying someone whose family has a great deal more wealth than their own. –Now, we’re not saying this is anything to complain about! But there are some potholes that come with every the pot of gold…
PreNups, Post Haste
We’ve all heard of engagements that get called off – or nearly so – because of the heartache a prenup has caused. And we certainly understand that it is a less than romantic notion to have your beloved’s lawyer stick paperwork in front of you detailing what you will receive upon your divorce. But take a step back – we’re not at all against the prenup – as long as it is fair and you have your OWN lawyer review it before you sign anything!
No Strings Attached?
If you think marrying into money will make all of your concerns go away – think again! Money solves some problems, but it can also create others. While you might think it is your dream come true to marry into a wealthy family who wants to shower you with riches, understand, that often that money comes with lots of strings attached!
If your future in-laws are offering to buy you homes, cars and other pricey gifts – take time to consider before saying yes, please. We’ve heard numerous stories of in-laws who pay for houses and then never really allow the couple to feel like it is their home. They may insist on dropping by unannounced whenever they like, give more than a say in decorating and so on. Try to communicate as much as possible so you can understand upfront what is expected of you, and if you’re comfortable with those expectations. Gift or no gift, like any relationship, understanding the expectations of everyone involved is the KEY!
When entering a world of great wealth, the worst thing you can do is pretend to be something you’re not. If you didn’t grow up going to country clubs and taking horse riding lessons, it is perfectly fine to ask any etiquette questions you may have in a forthright way – not knowing which fork to use does not make you any less of a person. And – being honest and asking for help when needed just makes you appear confident and comfortable with yourself. Remember what they say – nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission!
Get on Common Ground
As with any marriage, making sure you are on the same page about finances is ESSENTIAL – whether you are aristocracy or just getting by! If you are marrying someone with a great deal of wealth, will it bother you if they don’t have a proper job and choose to live off the family money? Or is that your preference? What are the money values you both plan to teach your children? What are your spouse’s expectations for your own financial contribution? A non-motivated wealthy spouse can cause just as much tension in a marriage as a hard-working spouse who doesn’t make enough money!
To All the Future Kings & Queens…
As the world bids Wills and Kate a bon voyage as they go off on what will be – no doubt- a fabulous honeymoon, remember- money can’t buy YOU love! So, if you’re waiting for your own Prince Charming to come along, just make sure that when he does, that for richer or poorer, you’re both in it all the way – together!| Print