For Better Or For Worse?


Krista and John are in love and getting married!  She’s a successful advertising exec, and he’s a dentist with a booming practice in Boulder, Colorado- in fact, they met three years ago when Krista went in for a cavity turned root canal

John has never been married before, but this is Krista’s second time down the aisle, and she’s a little gun shy when it comes to money. While John makes more than Krista, she owns the house that they are living in – and it’s gorgeous.  John feels their assets pretty much equal out, and he doesn’t see the need for a prenup. He also has been assuming Krista would add him to the deed of the house – but Krista feels differently. She wants the prenup.

While she feels it’s fair to split most everything equally, she wants to get the house if they break up.  She feels she worked extremely hard after the end of her first marriage to be able to afford her dream home. She renovated it over the course of two years, and she loves it – not to mention that it’s doubled in price since she bought it.  If she and John break up, Krista wants to ensure that she gets to keep her biggest investment.

This whole thing is not sitting well with John, and he feels she’s not being fair.  They are planning on having kids, and if they do, he will be the sole bread winner – and if they move into a bigger house when they have a family, what happens then? Does that house become hers solely too?

John feels he’s being generous but thinks Krista has too much emotion tied up in the house, and it’s making everything too complicated.  He said he’d understand more if he was bringing less to the table, but it’s making him doubt her financial judgement and confidence in their relationship. On the flip side, Krista is hurt that John doesn’t see her connection to the house and her need for financial security if they were to split up.

Is Krista right to protect her investment, or is she taking it too far under the circumstances?  Should John give her the house and negotiate other investments if they end up breaking up? Or should he push her to take the emotion out and level the playing field?

What would you do?  Tell us what you think!


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2 Responses to “For Better Or For Worse?”

  1. Molly says:

    It’s an interesting situation. They’ve already both agreed that when they have kids, Krista will stop working and stay home to raise them. So if they were to divorce then, Krista will be out of the work force for years, likely forced to take a job below her pay level, and who knows if she’d be awarded alimony. So if the house were in both their names, she might not be able to afford to live in her house. One third of women with children lose their homes after a divorce, and 3 out of 4 women don’t receive all the child support that the court has ordered the husband to pay.

    If I were Krista, I’d ask to keep the house in my name, but split everything else 50/50. Should the house not be large enough when they have kids, I’d keep the house, and rent it out while buying another to live in with John. Use the rental income to pay taxes and mortgage, and any profit is thrown into their joint account. (she can even change it to a business, start depreciating it, incorporate and pay herself a management salary). Should they ever divorce, krista gets her original house back and they negotiate everything else.
    One thing they must do is stipulate in their wills that the house(s) get transferred to the surviving spouse.
    My husband owned two condos when I met him, and I owned one. We never put each others names on the deeds, never felt a need to. We’re married for 18 years and not likely to divorce and we live in one of them. The condo’s have quadrupled in value and will add a huge chunk to our retirement income, and have added nice rental income to us over the years.

  2. Sue says:

    I agree with the above other than I feel that there should be a value put on the home at this time and an equal amount of John’s assets be set aside as well for him. I do not know where they are located but dower rights for the home can kick in as well. What about further maintainance, updating and repairs on the home. Who is responsible for those costs? If the house is hers and he is not going to share in any return on the investment then I think they belong to Krista. I have been in the same situation and as a Realtor have had clients as well in the situation, truthfully it is best to address it prior to the marriage. Additionally one more thought, as a dentist he does have to carry insurance but adding him to the deed could put the home in jeopardy and the pre-nup should help keep it from it but I am not an attorney. I think it is something that definitely should be checked into.

Any Thoughts?