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Planning from B4 marriage can stop a lot of pain the likes of which we see here in this forum. It sounds a bit cheesy but it's true. Many of the people who are married simply shouldn't have been married in the first place. Sounds as if I'm moralising...but I'm not and it's true.

This is an extract from the final paragraph of this post....just in case you don't make it to the end:

"IS THE CURRENT.... SYSTEM WONDERFUL & ALWAYS FAIR?
That’s a big no from me! But all things considered, it’s reasonable. What people who might become involved in the .... system one day should consider is facing up to the realities and shortcomings in the..... system, as well as life generally, and understand as best as possible and be prepared for possible eventualities. Some people embrace a strategy of ignoring realities, even if the realities are, indeed, absurd. In the.... arenas, ignoring reality might be properly termed as “philosophical suicide”. Putting out a cry of ‘unfair’ or ‘foul’ won’t get you far.
Do yourself a favor. See someone who knows the system."

THIS WAS SOME OFF THE CUFF ADVICE I GAVE A LADY HERE RECENTLY...SHE WAS KIND ENOUGH TO REPLY THAT 'I ROCKED'....MUCH OF THE STUFF THAT I DO IS TO GIVE PRACTICAL ADVICE RATHER THAN PROFESSIONAL ADVICE....
Suggest follow this advice BELOW...it was husband re wife but same principles apply....your husband is NOT entitled to stand by and watch your brain fry....you CAN do something yourself, SO DO IT..THIS IS FROM AMELIA EARHART - Mostly, my flying has been solo, but the preparation for it wasn't. Without my husband's help and encouragement, I could not have attempted what I have. Ours has been a contented and reasonable partnership, he with his solo jobs and I with mine. But always with work and play together, conducted under a satisfactory system of dual control...TO ACHIEVE GREATNESS SHE AND HER HUSBAND WORKED AS A TEAM...AMELIA ALSO SAID "Adventure is worthwhile in itself."...SO GO AND ADVENTURE AND STOP WASTING YOUR PRECIOUS TIME WONDERING WHAT'S GOING ON INSIDE THE HEAD OF THIS IDIOT....HE NEEDS TO BE A MAN AND BEING A MAN INVOLVES HONESTY AND DECENCY AND RESPECT. HE'S DEFICIENT ON ALL THE THE THINGS I JUST NAMED....DO NOT BE OWNED!! FIGHT FOR FAIR!..

SOME OF THE PRACTICAL ADVICE THAT I GIVE ON A CONSTANT BASIS IS something like: find freedom here and now, not in eternity… hold on to reason, but be aware of its limitations…much of life is absurd, so deal with it and just recognize that it is absurd… any strategy to ignore the problem of obvious absurdity and pretending that it’s something different is “philosophical suicide”….an absurd human knows about his mortality and yet doesn’t accept it, knows about the limitation of his reasoning, yet still holds it dear, feels the pleasure and pain of his experiences and yet tries to take in as many as possible….get out and get passionate about life and passion is not exclusive to activities which involve exchanges of body fluids…..and for f#uck sake, just harden up a little…what you are going through might be a bit tough, but I’d bet the farm of the fact that it’s not ‘Mosul tough’!

Read on if you wish:

Possibly the most masterful pre-nuptial agreement ever was not drafted by some high-profile lawyer in the modern age, but rather it was written in about 1931 by a thirty something lady who was completely untrained in legal matters. She was a pioneer aviatrix with an abundance of heart, honesty and common sense (‘HHC’). The name of the lady was Amelia Earhart. A household name now for generations. In 1931 after much soul searching, Amelia married a man named George Putnam, an American publisher, author and explorer.
Amelia recognized that both she and George were busy doing their own things which they needed to do separately, but at the same time they wanted a harmonious life together. So, Amelia considered the matter and put her thoughts in writing.

Below is a reproduction of the letter which Amelia sent to George prior to being married. Even though Amelia was not addressing the possible matrimonial hiccups and issues that lay ahead in the detailed manner of a formal prenuptial agreement, effectively it was exactly a pre-nup in that it was designed to make certain intentions clear, how the marriage might function properly given certain circumstances and an exit-strategy.

The letter reads as follows: (see over)







Noank
Connecticut
The Square House
Church Street
Dear GPP,

There are some things which should be writ before we are married -- things we have talked over before --- most of them. You must know again my reluctance to marry, my feeling that I shatter
thereby chances in work which means most to me. I feel the more just now as silly as anything I could do. I know there may be compensations but have no heart to look ahead.
On our life together I want you to understand I shall not hold you to any mediaeval code or faithfulness to me nor shall I consider myself bound to you similarly. If we can be honest I think the difficulties which arise may best be avoided should you or I become interested deeply (or in passing) in anyone else.
Please let us not interfere with the others’ work or play, nor let the world see our private joys or disagreements. In this connection, I may have to keep some place where I can go to be myself, now and then, for I cannot guarantee to endure at all times the confinement of even an attractive cage.
I must exact a cruel promise and that is you will let me go in a year if we find no happiness together.
I will try to do my best in every way and give you that part of me you know and seem to want.
A.E.

It was, of course, a tragedy that Amelia was killed in 1937 while on her second attempt to complete a circumnavigational flight of the globe.

Although Amelia’s document was ‘masterful’, it was by no means ‘perfect’. But that doesn’t matter. ‘Masterful’ is better than ‘perfect’. None of the paintings done by the great masters are ‘perfect’ by any means. But they have been put together in such a way that the message which they convey is clear and unmistakable as to the intentions of the artist.
Amelia’s document was such a cracker because she put her heart and soul into what went onto the paper having given due consideration as to what she wanted to say. She told a brief story about what her intentions were and what she wanted and what was expected of George, which really wasn’t much at all. She wanted both to be happy, not to tread on each other’s toes and if it wasn’t going to work then let’s go separate ways with no hard feelings.

Now that much of the world has educated itself into a state of imbecility (especially in the often over complicated legal systems which are thrust upon us all) more detail as well as certain procedure is required in prenups for them to be any good if there is a dispute. The days of the handshake and solemn promise are far behind us unfortunately.
Before consideration is given to consulting a professional about a prenup (and do see someone – don’t waste your time and a few dollars on some kit arrangement as this is likely to cost you dearly in the event of trouble) you should have a very sound idea as to what you would like out of the marriage or union. This includes business and money issues as well as the less tangible, personal issues. Even with the best of intentions, it is near impossible to keep the spark of an early relationship alight forever. Everyone knows this fact. Even the about to be married people know this normally in regards everyone else in the world, but not for themselves. Not us! We are different! So, reality checks for this as well as other possible/probably eventualities are important for all couples to consider.

WHAT PRENUPS CAN GENERALLY ADDRESS:
• The specific state’s law that the agreement will be subject to.
• Who will be responsible for premarital debts.
• Whether particular items are considered community or separate property.
• Financial responsibilities during the marriage.
• Who owns the marital residence.
• How property will be divided/distributed at divorce.
• How property will be distributed in event of death.
• Spousal support/alimony obligations (this varies by state).
• How disputes related to the agreement will be resolved.
• A sunset clause (this refers to the validity of the agreement being based upon being married for a certain number of years).

PRENUPS GENERALLY CAN’T ADDRESS:
• Custody and visitation of minor children.
• Child support.
• Anything that is illegal or would be considered unconscionable.
• Anything that is deemed to encourage or trigger the divorce.

It is important to know that courts have the ability to review and make decisions related to prenups. Basically, unfair and crazy things in prenups get struck down by courts. Adherence to public policy, fairness and openness are key. So, it is important to retain a lawyer when considering a prenup.
Here’s a list of some of the things that have to be considered in a prenup agreement and provided for your lawyer:
1. Premarital Assets & Debts
2. Conjugal Property
3. Administration of Assets & Income
4. Credit & Debt
5. Working
6. Spousal Support/Alimony
7. Endowments from Families
8. Advanced Education
9. Length of The Premarital Agreement
10. Business Proprietorship

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRENUPS AND POSTNUPS
Both prenup and postnup agreements are proactive and are intended to deal with (and in some cases) protect assets. Postnups (entered into after marriage), can become complicated to enforce due to each of the spouses having a legal fiduciary duty to care for the other in all ways. That said, postnuptial agreements, when drafted carefully and appropriately are a useful tool in dealing with property the subject of matrimonial disputes.

When it comes to making the decision of entering into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it important to consider what property is worth protecting (and why), the potential impact either or both can have on your pending or existing marriage. Always think being fair to each other and it’s a good start in so many ways.

WHAT’S WHAT WITH NO PRENUP OR POSTNUP AGREEMENT?
Without an agreement, state law will determine how important issues will be handled in the event of separation, divorce, or even death. For example, state law sets forth requirements for whether property or debt is treated as separate or marital. It also contains requirements for how spousal support is determined.

When a couple has no prenuptial agreement, they are allowing state law and the court system decide these issues on their behalf.
If couples want to take these matters into their own hands, they should have a prenuptial agreement. The best way to make this decision is to learn how the law in your state will treat important issues if you do not have a prenup. A lawyer can help you understand how the family and inheritance laws work in your state so you can make the best decision.

IS THE CURRENT LEGAL SYSTEM WONDERFUL & ALWAYS FAIR?
That’s a big no from me! But all things considered, it’s reasonable. What people who might become involved in the legal system one day should consider is facing up to the realities and shortcomings in the legal system, as well as life generally, and understand as best as possible and be prepared for possible eventualities. Some people embrace a strategy of ignoring realities, even if the realities are, indeed, absurd. In the legal arenas, ignoring reality might be properly termed as “philosophical suicide”. Putting out a cry of ‘unfair’ or ‘foul’ won’t get you far.
Do yourself a favor. See someone who knows the system. That person would probably be a lawyer!

Written by Peter from “The Online Lawyer”.
Peter is an experienced lawyer and has a passion for helping people get into or out of legal matters.
You can find Peter on Fiverr at http://bit.do/onlinelawyers_matrimonial

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