Marriage » Other Considerations Marriage- Marriage Counseling, Same Sex Marriage, Marriage License, Common Law, Vital Records Tue, 15 Nov 2016 16:06:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A Full Guide to Civil Unions in the US Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:01:08 +0000
While civil unions are not legally recognized in every state, many people are fighting for equal rights for the LGBT community. Civil unions help individuals gain some of the benefits of marriage. For instance, couples entering into a civil union may be able to get shared benefits through employers. 
In addition, civil unions can help decide issues of inheritance and health care proxies in some states. Some states are even finally beginning to recognize prenuptial agreements as they apply to civil unions. However, these prenuptial agreements can get rather complicated. 
Federal laws come into play with these agreements because those in civil unions are not entitled to the same rights as those that enter into marriage. However, couples entering into civil unions can enter into legally binding prenuptial agreements in some states.
In Civil Unions, prenuptial agreements are sometimes refereed to as, pre civil union agreements. However, the ideas and rights provided in both documents are equally legal and binding, depending on the state where the union takes place. For instance, New Jersey recognizes both documents equally. However, prenuptial agreements may not be recognized in a state that does not legally allow civil unions. 
In states that do recognize them, they are very similar to all prenuptial agreements. They contain the same information as to distribution of property and assets. However, they cannot allow benefits that are not allowed by state law. While some states grant similar benefits to civil unions and to marriage, others do not. 
For example, states may recognize the term of "domestic partnership" which does not grant the same rights as "civil union." However, those states do allow for a domestic partnership agreement, which can also distribute assets and property in the event of separation.
While the United States seems to be slow to recognize the rights of the LGBT community, other countries have been recognizing prenuptial agreements in civil unions for quite awhile. For example, the U.K. has been upholding those documents as legal, for quite sometime.
While the courts may not be obliged to uphold them, they usually do as long as they are fair to both parties. This is interesting considering they have only recently begun to recognize prenuptial agreements in any form. In this case, there are equal rights provided to this entering into civil unions and those entering into marriage.
As more states legally allow civil unions, the need for information on pre-civil union agreements has increased. Most attorneys that work in prenuptial agreements, will also work with pre civil union agreements as long as the document will be legally upheld in that state. In general, the two forms are very similar.
The only items that need extra consideration, are those that fall under federal laws. For example, pensions and tax breaks. However, anyone entering into a civil union in a state that legally allows it, will find that they are also able to enter into a pre-civil union agreement to protect both parties financial interests.

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Considerations Cost You Should Know in a Prenuptial Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:01:08 +0000
Prenuptial agreements have several costs associated with them. There are free sample prenuptial agreements available online and through some organizations. However, some couples choose to pay an attorney to prepare their agreement. 
In this case there is the cost associated with having one prepared as opposed to a DIY agreement. In addition, there is the cost of having it executed should it become necessary. Yet, the greatest cost associated with prenuptial agreements, can be the costs associated with a poorly written agreement. 
In some cases the document will be invalidated by the courts, in which case one party is likely to suffer more financial consequences than originally thought. Also, the agreement may have been written in such a way that the courts feel the clauses are unconscionable or vague. In either case, an individual is likely to suffer financial consequences. 
In essence, the best time to spend money on issues related to prenuptial agreements is during preparation. If couples choose to utilize a free prenuptial agreement, they must be sure that it complies with state laws and is likely to be upheld by the courts.
There are many free prenuptial agreements available online. In many cases, free prenuptial agreements can be sufficient for couples. Some couples only require a document that divides assets equally or in another simple manner. 
However, there is great financial risk if agreements are not detailed. If nothing else, free prenuptial agreements are a great starting point for discussion. Couples can save a lot of money by utilizing a free prenuptial agreement, as long as they are aware of and plan for the possible financial consequences.
Some couples decide that a free prenuptial agreement is not the best option for them. In many cases, couples will have attorneys prepare their prenuptial agreement. While free prenuptial agreements can save money, couples may find that paying an attorney for preparation is a worthwhile financial cost. Attorneys can be expensive and couples should do some price comparisons on attorneys and the services they offer. 
Certainly a simple review of a free prenuptial agreement will be cheaper than having them write an individualized agreement. In addition, couples may pay attorneys a flat rate, or be charged an hourly rate. Depending on the degree of difficulty involved in writing their prenuptial agreement, the flat rate is generally the better option for most couples.
Couples must perform a cost/benefit analysis when considering a free prenuptial agreement. If nothing else, they should certainly consider paying for attorney review of their fee prenuptial agreement. In many cases, there are financial consequences associated with free prenuptial agreements, if and when they are executed. 
If possible, couples should only use a free prenuptial agreement as a starting point for discussion and consideration. Paying for the expertise of an attorney, is generally a worthwhile expense for couples writing their prenuptial agreement. While couples may pay a small fee for a notary public, attorneys fees are generally much higher. However, in most cases, both fees are a necessary expense.

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Understanding the Sunset Provision Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:01:08 +0000
Some couples enter into prenuptial agreements because they are not certain as to the intentions of the other individual. For example, one individual may believe that their partner is marrying them for money. If this were true, it would likely become clear fairly early in the marriage. In addition, some couples write their prenuptial agreements believing that they will not have children. 
If however, they do have children, they would want to take that into consideration for issues such as alimony and distribution of assets. While a prenuptial form will not include issues relating to child custody or child support, they can contain estate planning and issues relating to the distribution of property to children. Because of these issues, some prenuptial forms contain a sunset provision. This provision allows the agreement to expire after a certain number or years, or at the birth of a child.
Some states have a sunset clause automatically attached to a prenuptial form. In other words, certain states only allow a prenuptial agreement to be valid for a certain number of years. When those number of years have passed, the agreement is no longer valid in any way. In addition, some states invalidate a prenuptial form once the couple has a child. While some states automatically attach this provision to a a prenuptial form, couples may also add it to their contract.
For those that wonder about the intentions of their partner, the sunset clause can be a way to protect themselves. For example, a wealthy man may wonder if his wife married him in hopes of gaining financial comfort during the marriage and in the event of a divorce.

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How Do State Prenuptial Laws Vary? Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:01:08 +0000
Generally, state laws relating to a prenuptial agreement will be very similar. In fact, a couple that has a prenuptial agreement in any state, is likely to have it validated by the courts as long as it conforms to that state's laws. When couples review their prenuptial forms, they must be careful to ensure that they have followed all state laws that pertain to them. 
In addition, couples want to exclude any clauses that may oppose state laws. While some laws are ambiguous to certain aspects of a prenuptial agreement, it is best to avoid any possible complications in having the agreement upheld by the courts.
One law that applies in all states, is the prohibition of including issues of child custodychild supportdivorceprenuptial formspost-nuptial agreement to account for any changes in law, no matter how slight.
Each state will have prenuptial forms that are specifically geared toward obeying the laws of that state. While most states have similar laws regarding a prenuptial agreement, it is recommended that couples use prenuptial forms geared toward their specific state laws.
 After marriage, a couple that moves should consider a post nuptial agreement in case their prenuptial forms do not comply with their new state's laws.

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