I have discovered a new blog dealing exclusively with prenuptial agreements at PrenuptialAgreements.org. Great content! Here is the author’s explanation of reasons to have a prenuptial agreement:
A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between two people that deals with the financial consequences of their marriage ending.
All marrying couples have a "prenuptial agreement" – it is known as "divorce law." However, a lot of people are unhappy with the way divorce law works, and prefer to take control of their lives, rather than leave it in the hands of the government. In these cases, it makes a lot of sense to get a customized prenup.
Getting a prenuptial agreement is particularly important in these 8 cases:
1. You are much wealthier than your partner. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that your partner is marrying you for who you are, and not for your money.
2. You earn much more than your partner. A prenuptial agreement can be used in many states to limit the amount of alimony that is payable.
3. You are remarrying. When you remarry, your legal and financial concerns are often very different than in your first marriage. You may have children from a previous marriage, support obligations, and own a home or other significant assets. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that when you pass away, your assets are distributed according to your wishes, and that neither your first family, nor your new family are cut off.
4. Your partner has a high debt load. If you are marrying someone with a significant debt load, and don’t want to be responsible for these debts if your marriage ends, then a prenuptial agreement can help ensure that this does not happen.
5. You own part of a business. Without a prenuptial agreement, when your marriage ends, your spouse could end up owning a share of your business. Your business partners may not want this to happen. A prenup can ensure that your spouse does not become an unwanted partner in your business.
6. To prevent your spouse from overturning your estate plan. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that you estate plan works, and, for instance, ensure that a specific heirloom remains in your family.
7. You are much poorer than your partner. Just as a prenuptial agreement can be used to protect a spouse who is well off, a prenup can also be used to ensure that the partner who is weaker financially is protected.
8. If you plan to quit your job to raise children. Quitting your job will negatively impact your income and your wealth. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that the financial burden of raising the children is shared fairly by both partners.
Dick Price, who blogs at Divorce and Family Law in Tarrant County, Texas, has written a series of answers to questions frequently asked by his clients. This one caught my attention this week.
This is another frequent question, asked by about half of my clients, sometimes at the beginning of a case and sometimes after it has gone on for a while. Actually, most clients eventually get to this question if their divorce lingers long enough. There are a few things that can be done, but they ultimately depend on the goodwill or motivation of your spouse. You can always just wait for a trial, but it usually takes a long time to get into court (often a year or more in Tarrant County). The situation is similar in other (non-divorce) family law matters.
Here’s my list of 9 suggestions. You may be uncomfortable and may not enjoy some of them, but they are provided to help you speed up the process, not to make things more pleasant for you; if speed is not your highest priority, you may not want to do some of these. Please remember, they may not apply in every case — they are possibilities to consider.
Domestic violence includes beatings, threats, stalking, other forms of intimidation, harassment, neglect, and physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Domestic violence may include any act by one family member that causes physical or emotional harm to another family member.
B. The Harmful Effects of Domestic Violence
In addition to the obvious immediate trauma caused by violence, domestic violence has long-term, far-reaching harmful effects on all members of the family. The lifetime harm to children is well-known.
Even when you decide to get help, being involved in domestic violence can make it harder for you to relate to your lawyer or others who might be able to help you. Domestic violence has long been considered a private matter, not to be discussed outside the family. Reluctance to talk about these problems is a direct result of the feelings of guilt and fear experienced by members of families marked by violence. It is ironic that even the victims of domestic violence, who have done nothing wrong, feel guilty about it.
In some states, domestic violence may be a ground of fault in the divorce proceeding. In others it affects only child custody and visitation.
The two most important points to remember about domestic violence are:
If you are committing it, stop!
If you are a victim of it, get help!
Selecting a lawyer to represent you in your divorce is more than just picking a name; it means establishing a close and sensitive relationship that will continue for months and perhaps years. It is important to find and hire the person who is right for you and your case.
B. Getting Names of Lawyers
1. From other professionals
Lawyers, accountants, psychotherapists, members of the clergy and other professionals meet and work with divorce lawyers in the course of their work and are often a good source of referrals. Ask them for the names of family law specialists with good credentials and reputations and whose qualifications are most appropriate to your case. Lawyers, in particular, are aware of the reputations of other lawyers, even those outside their specialty, so a lawyer you already know and trust can be an exceptionally good referral source. If you need a divorce lawyer outside your geographical area, divorce lawyers in your area often know who the best people are in other regions.
2. From organizations
Your state bar may have a process for certifying family law specialists and may give you names. While certification is no absolute assurance of quality, it usually requires a certain proven level of experience, study, and interest in the field. Certified specialists have usually passed an examination in this area of the law. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers is an organization with a rigorous screening procedure which admits only qualified specialists.
The American Bar Association and most local bar associations have family law sections. Although any lawyer can join these sections with no screening or testing, lawyers who belong may have a higher level of interest and involvement in the field of family law than those who don’t.
Alimony is a payment from the higher income spouse to the lower income spouse after divorce. The law regarding alimony has a number of quirks you may not be aware. Here is a list of 5 things it is likely you didn’t know about alimony:
1. If your ex-spouse has a sex change, you still have to pay alimony, at least in Florida. This is despite the fact that alimony could not be payable to a same sex partner.
2. If your ex-spouse enters a registered domestic partnership with someone of the same sex, you still have to pay alimony, at least in California and also in Oregon (but not Virginia). This is despite the fact that alimony would end if your ex had remarried.
3. Even if your ex-spouse tries to kill you, you can’t end alimony if you have a non-modifiable alimony clause in your divorce decree, at least in Missouri. That being said, even if this had happened prior to alimony being determined, in many states fault is not considered when making determinations of alimony.
4. Men are entitled to receive alimony. More and more men are pursuing this option. And women are just as happy about paying alimony as men are.
5. Determining the amount and length of alimony is somewhat of a black art and well worth speaking to a lawyer about. Although the exact factors considered differ from state to state, generally a court considers your and your ex-spouse’s financial situations, career paths, ages, roles during the marriage and health. However, determinations are very fact specific.
SOURCE: Divorce Zone