Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The premarital agreement's a real legal story

Harry

I'm a man who recently had a premarital agreement thrown out in Oregon and received a rather large spousal and property judgement against me. This was my third marriage and my third prenup. I have inherited wealth and the prenup was done perfectly. Wife testified that she signed it voluntarily, no coercion, 3 months prior to wedding, etc. She was a working university instructor with a Ph.D., so she was not some dummy bimbo. She fully understood the prenup and, during the first years she was very sweet and was affronted to think I might even consider that she would want to abandon me and run off with a bunch of my money.


During the marriage, she moved into my existing luxury home and I paid all expenses, including a housekeeper, full-time nanny, and landscaping throughout the entire marriage. She was free to work if she chose and keep whatever she earned, although she did not work much. In addition, I provided her with $4,000 per month for her personal use, beyond all household expenses, which I paid. I paid for yearly vacations, e.g., a week at the Fairmont in Hawaii, trips to the coast, etc. I paid to take the nanny on vacations, too. I did everything I could to make her life good and I am very proud to be able to say I never did anything to her I regret; I am proud of my restraint and good manners during it all.

She filed for divorce-against my wishes-in essence because our marriage had lost its luster and she felt unfulfilled. She found it to be very stressful to be a mother to all those kids, even with in-home nannies 70 hours per week and no need to work.

Nine years and 4 kids later, the judge threw our prenup right out the window and awarded her $11,000 per month in child+spousal and about $1m in property. Apparently, by taking care of her so well, I had somehow become obligated to continue, even though she was leaving me and taking my kids with her.

In Oregon, the law states that "unconscionability" alone is not adequate for ruling a prenup invalid. There must also be failure to disclose assets. However, no failure to disclose was ever alleged. It can also be thrown out for basic contact fraud, but she testified that she signed it voluntarily. So why was it thrown out?

Simple. There is a bias against men, plain and simple. All that stuff you read about prenups being difficult to enforce, and the courts being biased against men?... It is totally true.

Because of the money involved, our case is now going to the Oregon Supreme Court. Oral args will occur in late 2017. The outcome will determine whether the obvious anti-male bias of the family court permeates the entire system and is completely inescapable.

I'm now dating a lovely Ukrainian woman with 2 kids. I'm hoping she will be happy with money and what love I have left, but a marriage is out of the question. The US legal system is simply too unpredictable and biased against men. And it's her loss.

My lawyer tells me that I have a very good chance to win the Supreme Court case, since the facts in our case are undisputed, and we are relying solely on her testimony, and the Oregon law is crystal clear and specifies when a prenup can be thrown out.

However, I am very skeptical that justice will be done. I have come to believe the US court system looks at people’s money as if it is their own to distribute to whomever they feel should have it. I was not too surprised by the trial court (by the way, a female judge in our case) disregarding the law, but I was shocked when the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision. Unfortunately, I happened to get an appellate panel of three female judges, so bias could also be the explanation for losing at the appellate level.

Fortunately, I have enough money and outrage to pursue the case to the Supreme Court. My outrage is more at the system, than my ex-wife. I can forgive her for just wanting as much money as she can get. She's human. And over the years and three marriages, I have become quite cynical about marriage and women. I've gradually come to stereotype women and simply accept that the pretty ones are almost always selfish and spoiled.

My ex-wife was a German citizen. In part, she argued that she had poor English abilities and did not understand the significance of the prenup. She argued that she signed our prenup without understanding its significance. This is very difficult to argue against, and a biased judge can easily use this as an excuse to throw out any prenup. My wife said she didn’t take the prenup seriously and signed it without a thorough reading. Of course her attorney made a huge deal of how poor she was, how much money I had, how many children she had, and how the prenup would leave her without any of my money. That is, without any money beyond the $3,500 per month in child support, which I am happy to pay.