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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Question 11

Dear Dr. T.,

   My older brother is getting married to a girl that just wants his money and he can't see it. The reason I know she wants his money is because I overheard her talking to someone on the phone and saying that she convinced him not to require her to sign a prenuptial agreement and that she now will get a divorce with him after a month or two into the marriage and take all his money. I have told him this and he hasn't believed me one bit. How can I convince him to break this off or tell him to get a prenup?
John Doe

Dear John Doe,

I think you have already done what you could. It sounds like your brother is determine to marry and that any further efforts on your part will only alienate him from you. All you can do now is to let him know that you love him and hope he will be happy. And, should the worst happen, be prepared to support him emotionally without reminding him that you told him so.

The situation you describe, if it turns out to be as you believe it will, would I think (though I am not a matrimonial lawyer) constitute fraud. If you are really worried, hold on to this email as evidence that your brother's fiancé expressed the intentions you describe before she married him. It might be useful if your brother is sued for divorce.

Divorce laws can vary from state to state. I don't know how the law works in your state, but I believe that in New York, when people get divorced, the money that is earned or acquired through investments after the marriage usually gets shared more or less equally. But each person usually gets to keep whatever money or property he had before the marriage as well as any personal gifts(such as inheritance) he received after the marriage provided that the money does not get comingled by opening joint bank accounts, buying property that is in both spouses names or things like that. So, if the law in your state law is anything like New York law, your brother's fiancé may have unrealistic expectations as to what she can get out of him.

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