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wedding-322034_640Most people planning to get married don’t know enough about prenuptial agreements. No, you don’t want to get divorced, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t understand how the prenup works.

What Is It?

A prenuptial agreement, or premarital agreement, is a contract that sets the terms of property rights during marriage. The purpose is to establish rights before the state does it for you. There are a lot of misconceptions about these types of agreements, however.

Prenups aren’t just for the wealthy, although this is the common perception. The purpose of a prenup is to protect both individual’s premarital assets and property, protect a spouse from assuming the debts of the other if they divorce, determine how property should be passed at death, clarify financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage, and avoid disputes if a divorce does happen.

Prenups save spouses money in the long-run, and act as a defense mechanism in the event a spouse dies or decides that they no longer want to be married. These family law attorneys sometimes recommend them to couples before they get married because they dramatically reduce the complication and cost of a divorce or separation.

Is It Right For You?

Sit down with your spouse-to-be and talk about it.

If you don’t get a prenup, your state sets your property rights for you, and a series of family laws determines how property is handled during and after a marriage. In most states, this means splitting property 50/50, allowing both spouses to have equitable rights in property upon the death of the other spouse, share debts acquired during the marriage, and shared responsibilities in managing property that was purchased during the marriage.

In some cases, prenuptial agreements can also outline the procedures for shares of ownership in a business, if you own a business.

To determine is a prenup is right for you, you’ll want to sit down and talk with your spouse about the benefits and disadvantages of having one. Remember, a prenuptial agreement is about property rights, not romanticism.

Why Do It?

There are many benefits to having a prenup, including written documentation of each spouse’s separate property, elimination of court rulings over property distribution at death or during a divorce, a clear distinction between marital and community property, documentation of special arrangements between you and your spouse, and clear delineation of debts and financial responsibilities after a marriage.

Since many marriages end because of disputes over money or a conflict in evolving personal values, having a prenup may be your best defense later against your spouse if he or she changes and decides to leave or if you grow apart and the unthinkable happens.

Why Not Do It?

The most common objection to a prenuptial agreement is the notion that it’s not romantic. If your spouse objects (or if you feel uneasy about signing one), usually the problem stems from thinking that a prenup is a document that will dull the romanticism in your relationship in some way.

Also, the timing might not “be right” for a prenup.

You might be at a point where you don’t want to introduce an element of “doubt” into the marriage, and for many that’s what a prenup is.

What You Can and Cannot Include In A Prenup

Most property issues can be sorted out using a prenuptial agreement. Each state has its own separate laws, however, that govern what types of property constitute communal property and separate property.

One major clause that’s included in prenups is one that protects one spouse from another’s debts. Also, provisions for children from a previous marriage may be included in a prenup. If you want to designate property to stay in the family, this can also be included.

For example, if your mother gave you fine china that was passed down from a previous generation, she may have meant for it to stay with you if you ever split from your wife or husband.

A prenup makes sure that’s what happens. Otherwise, the dishes might be split evenly between you and your spouse or lost entirely.

However, as broad as a prenup may be, it cannot include anything illegal, it cannot include provisions concerning child support or custody, you cannot waive your right to alimony, make rules about personal matters (as opposed to financial matters), and it cannot encourage divorce.

In general, nothing personal must be included in the prenup, or a judge will likely consider it an invalid contract and strike it down.

Rebecca Long Okura is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, and started her own family law firm in 2004. She is also a trained domestics dispute mediator.

2 Comments

DisneylandI'm all for saving money at every step possible when visiting the wallet-emptying vacation spot known as Disneyland. Too often, I've sacrificed convenience for saving money.

While my family's frugality has saved us money on our Disneyland trips that have in part helped make the vacation more affordable, in some ways it has cost us in other ways — time and better experiences. Some splurges are worthwhile.

We took a short trip to the Anaheim, Calif., resort this weekend during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, taking our daughter out of school for two days so we could turn it into a long weekend and hopefully enjoy smaller crowds. I'm writing this post ahead of our trip, so by the time this post runs I'll be safely home with a credit card bill awaiting.

Our daughter is 11, and this will be her fourth family trip to Disneyland. Looking at that now, I realize that's a lot of visits, but it is the happiest place on Earth.

I've always thought that after spending about $90 per day per person just to get into one of the parks is so high of a cost that it's imperative that we save money in other ways. While I'm not throwing out all of the financial stops on this trip, there are some high expenses I'm willing to indulge this time because they look to be worthwhile.

Here are some of the ways we're spending more more money, along with frugal ways to help save money so we can afford these extravagances: ...continue reading

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The first date is like an exam, but you won’t have a chance to resit it. You look at the examiner – beautiful, nice, and sexy – and make more and more mistakes.

Most people can (at least subconsciously) decode the body language pretty well. Your body can give you away and spoil your first date. You should be aware of those wrong movements and gestures, which can ruin your romance from the start, and take them under your total control. Here few dating tips by Ukraine Dating site.

  1. Don’t fold your arms.
    Crossed arms signal that you’re defending yourself or trying to create a barrier between you and your date. Don’t sit like that even if you feel comfortable – your interlocutor may feel alienated.
  2. Point your feet in the right direction.
    Mind the direction of you feet. They should be towards your partner. This way, you show her that you’re interested. If a pretty blonde at the next table catches your eye, make sure you don’t turn your feet towards her.
  3. Don’t fuss.
    Sharp moves and fast speech show that you are too nervous, excited or interested in her. All you need to do is to relax and enjoy your date. Drink some water or go to the restroom to pull yourself together and get back confident and calm.
  4. Mirror your partner.
    People who are into each other often subconsciously mimic each other’s gestures, voice intonation or manner of speaking. Mirroring is the sign of equality and the way to express that you agree with her point of view and feel drawn to her.
  5. Avoid touching.
    Don’t touch her even if you want to. This is your first date and you may feel at some moment that you may touch her. You’re mistaken. Don’t take her amiability for her desire to become closer. Any bold touch may be interpreted by her as harassment and you’re first date will turn into your last.
  6. Don’t nod too much.
    If she’s telling you a long-long story you shouldn’t nod at every word she says. That’s a sign that you’re bored. If you really are, control your body, otherwise she may think that you’re not listening to her or want her to finish your speech. Make sure that you nod occasionally to agree with her interesting ideas.
  7. Don’t fiddle with things.
    Trifling with a napkin or tablecloth is an indication of your nervousness, disinterest, or lack of confidence. Any bustle will make your date feel uncomfortable so keep still and show that you’re really interested.
  8. Keep the distance.
    Don’t enter her personal space (60-120 cm distance between the interlocutors) as most people feel discomfort when this zone is encroached. Only close friends, lovers, and family members are allowed to an intimate zone (60 cm and less). Of course, you want to close the distance between you, but the first date (especially its beginning) is a way too early to do that. Don’t rush things, be patient and you’ll get into her intimate zone very soon.
  9. Be well mannered.
    Remember that you’re a gentleman so mind your table manners and standard etiquette rules.
  10. Control your eye contact.
    According to the scientists, people spend 30-60% of the ordinary conversation time looking at each other. Lovers look at each other for about 75% of the time. Choose a happy medium and everything will be cool. You shouldn’t constantly stare at her without even blinking as she may feel creepy under your steady gaze. Also, make sure that you maintain an eye contact not less than 50% of your date time, otherwise she may think you aren’t interested in her.
  11. Show your genuine interest.
    It’s your date, after all, so don’t look around and try to focus on your girl. She should understand that you’re interested in her and that you asked her out to get to know her better, not to ignore her.
  12. Embrace her.
    Whether to kiss a girl at the end of the first date is always an open question. However, you’ll do no harm hugging her tenderly. It will show her that you like her and just want to touch. Note that patting her on her back isn’t acceptable; it’s OK only with your male friends. Patting will be perceived by her as your unwillingness to contact her and she may feel weird.