Jane has a lucrative corporate career in technology. She is 45 and has made six figures since her late 30s, gets stock options and has generous company benefits. She has a large balance in her 401(k) plan and substantial investments outside of her 401(k), as she was a saver before she got married and also inherited money from a relative when she was 35.
Her husband, who is a writer and stayed at home to raise their 7-year-old son, announced unexpectedly that he wanted a divorce. Jane, focused on her work, did not expect this and realized too late that she did not prepare for this possibility. She has hired a lawyer to help with a property settlement.
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Lesson: If a woman is coming into a marriage with wealth, it pays to consider executing a prenuptial agreement beforehand. Prenups are not a romantic proposition, and it might seem like they're meant only for the super-rich, but that isn't the case.
In Jane's case, she, as the high earner throughout the marriage, will have to give up a substantial amount of her savings to her ex-husband. At a highly emotional time, she will be required to make decisions that will affect the rest of her life, as well as that of her child. A prenuptial agreement would have made this process a lot less stressful and ensure a fairer outcome.