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by Abigail Van Buren

Gold Digging Accusations Tarnish Plans for Wedding

DEAR ABBY: I am being married in October, and something is really bothering me. I have a 14-year-old daughter -- and she is a big problem, but not the only problem.

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from my fiance's mother. She told me the only reason I want to marry her son is for his money. Abby, we have lived together for more than a year. To this day I don't know what he earns or what he has in the bank, and I don't want to know. What she said was extremely hurtful. I never have been and never will be a gold digger. My fiance knows that. She also told me that if he married me, my daughter will receive nothing in his will.

My fiance is now telling me that because he doesn't want my daughter to get any of his money, he wants to get a prenuptial agreement. I don't have a problem with that -- but here's the deal: If we get divorced, I'll get nothing. That's OK with me. But if anything happens to him, I will also be left with nothing -- everything will go to his sons.

Abby, is it wrong of me to want some security for my old age? This is something I didn't think I would have to think about, but now I do. Either way I am being made to look like a gold digger. I'm so hurt I don't know how to deal with it. I love this man with all my heart, but I'm lost and don't know what to do. Please help. -- CRYING IN DEARBORN, MICH.

DEAR CRYING: Dry your tears and take heart. As much as you love this man, you need to consult a lawyer. A prenuptial agreement has to be acceptable to both parties, and you must be represented by an impartial lawyer so that it isn't signed under "duress." The document should offer you some protection, so that you won't be blindsided at some future date.

Discuss with your lawyer whether or not your fiance should sign a similar agreement that plainly outlines what he expects his financial obligations to you will be.

He should be as willing to sign such an agreement as you are. After all, business is a two-way street and there's nothing shameful about it.