Juliana Custodio and Michael Jessen have wrestled with their many differences since they first appeared on Season 7 of TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé. After meeting at a yacht party in Croatia, the 23-year-old Brazilian model and the 42-year-old divorced father of two from Greenwich, Connecticut, hit it off right away. After a long wait and several K-1 visa delays, they were finally able to come together in the U.S.
Michael is a wealthy wine entrepreneur, while Juliana grew up without much money. On the Dec. 15 episode of 90 Day Fiancé, “The Truth Shall Set You Free,” Juliana and Michael realized how much their different financial circumstances could affect their relationship. The couple met with a mediator after Michael’s ex-wife Sarah Jessen suggested they get a prenuptial agreement to protect the inheritance for their shared children, Max and CeCe, in the event of a divorce.
Juliana was confused by what a prenuptial agreement could mean for her future
At the beginning of “The Truth Shall Set You Free,” Juliana and Michael dealt with the aftermath of Sarah’s suggestion. “The idea of getting the prenup make me sad. I want to make everything for this marriage to work,” said Juliana. But Michael explained he was in favor of a prenup because of how expensive his divorce from Sarah had been.
Meanwhile, Juliana was upset with the fact that Michael hadn’t broached the subject with her first. “Why I had to hear about the prenup from Sarah, not you?” she asked Michael. But while the 90 Day Fiancé star said he thought Sarah’s suggestion for a prenup was “out of character” and “uncouth,” he didn’t give an explanation for why he hadn’t brought up the topic with his wife himself.
The ‘90 Day Fiancé’ stars met with a mediator in an awkward confrontation
At an uncomfortable meeting with an attorney and mediator, Michael revealed that he wanted a separate property marriage, not joint property.
Michael seemed surprised, however, when the mediator advocated for Juliana’s interests. The 90 Day Fiancé star said he’d be happy to provide anything Juliana wanted while they were married, but the mediator suggested that wasn’t enough. “Those are gifts,” the mediator pushed back. “You can’t just write Juliana out of everything.”
She turned to Juliana and asked, “If your career takes off, do you want to share your money with Michael?”
“If he don’t want to share, I don’t want to share,” Juliana asserted, surprising her fiance.
“Michael is very definite about keeping his income, keeping his assets, very separate,” the mediator told 90 Day Fiancé producers. She added that Juliana was “young” and worried that she had “a lot to learn.”
Juliana revealed that Michael ‘kicked her out’ in the past
Juliana told 90 Day Fiancé producers that she had reason to worry about Michael’s reliability. She brought up how much she’d sacrificed in order to be with him. “I had to give up all my jobs, my little dogs, my family. It’s very uncomfortable to talk about divorce before I even marry,” she shared.
The Brazilian model also dropped the bombshell that Michael had left her high and dry before. “Me and Michael broke up for three months. I don’t know why we broke up. He just call me, say, ‘I don’t want to stay with you anymore, bye,’” she told producers.
Then, she claimed, he “suddenly disappeared” when she needed to pay rent, after he promised to support her financially. After that, she explained, she was afraid to rely on him completely, financially or otherwise.
They clashed over Juliana’s idea of ‘independence’
After the meeting with the mediator, Juliana and Michael had a stressful conversation about the division of assets, trust, and Juliana’s feelings of powerlessness. “I can’t depend on anyone. I don’t trust. I can’t,” said Juliana. “It’s time for me to be independent.”
But while Michael encouraged his fiancee to “stay positive,” Juliana clapped back, “If you were in my shoes, you could think the same thing. Don’t judge.” Michael was uncomfortable, but didn’t say much as they headed home.
Breaking down in front of 90 Day Fiancé producers, Juliana said she felt blindsided, as she hadn’t even known what a prenuptial agreement was before she arrived in the U.S. “He has more money, so he has more power. Right? I feel a loser, ‘cause there’s nothing I can do,” she said of her wealthier, older fiance.
She added that the proceedings made her “feel desperate” and that she felt like she had no control over her fate. “He just can kick me out like he did last year. Just disappear like that,” she worried. “I’m angry with myself because I’m in this situation right now.”