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Can I strengthen my marriage with a prenuptial agreement?

Many Americans suffer from a common misconception that prenuptial agreements are only useful when a couple divorces. In reality, a wise couple can use a prenuptial agreement to avoid certain conflicts within marriage and protect each other from pressures outside the relationship. While it is certainly true that most divorces benefit from a prenuptial agreement, any couple can use a one to strengthen the marriage -- not tear it down

When one member of a couple comes to the marriage with a great deal of personal debt, he or she puts the other person at great risk. Without proper protection, the individual who does not have a lot of debt may suddenly find themselves on the hook for their partner's liabilities. A well-crafted prenuptial agreement can create a legal separation between each partner's assets and liabilities, erecting a hedge of protection against creditors who might pursue marital property to satisfy a debt.

Plan for times when parenting styles collide

When you and your ex can't agree on how to raise the kids, there is a chance that disagreements are on the horizon. These can be difficult for you to deal with and they can devastate the children. If you are worried that you and your ex will have clashes of this sort, make sure that you keep these tips in mind.

First, remember that it is OK to agree to do things differently. Your ex doesn't have to bow to your way of thinking and you don't have to bow to your ex's way of doing things. What is important is that you and your ex work to give your child a good life.

Yes, it is possible to change or terminate spousal support orders

If your divorce entailed a spousal support order and your income has changed significantly since then, you may be carrying a burden that you cannot sustain. For thousands of people throughout the country, spousal support orders become unfeasible to comply with once their income decreases or their expenses expand well beyond what they were when the order was handed down.

There's good news and bad news for those who wish to modify or terminate their spousal support obligations. The good news is that reducing or ceasing your payments altogether is possible, if you take the correct steps to petition the court. The bad news is that you must follow a very specific series of requirements in order to receive a modification or termination of spousal support, and failing to do so can land you in an even worse position than you are now.

More people are using prenuptial agreements now than decades ago

People who get married these days are much more likely to have prenuptial agreements in place than people who were married decades ago. One of the reasons for this is that people aren't getting married as young as what they once did. Instead, some people are waiting until they have an established career and some measure of financial security.

When you go into a marriage with financial security and more stability, you have every reason to want to protect it. This is especially true when you and your betrothed don't have the same views about money. The difference in money styles could spell doom if you don't address them early.

What is a no-fault divorce?

Divorce can happen many ways, and each spouse has his or her own tipping point where the marriage goes from difficult or troubled to untenable. For some couples, divorce comes after years of the relationship slowly fading past recovery, while others implode almost instantaneously, and still others simply run their course. California is a "no-fault" divorce state, so deciding to divorce is a truly personal decision, which is a great freedom and power to carry.

Under no-fault rules, a divorce is fairly straightforward. One party simply has to file for the divorce and cite "irreconcilable differences" to justify the divorce legally. Here in California, this law faced opposition when it was originally proposed many years, with many lawmakers claiming that creating a no-fault system would make it too easy for men to shirk their responsibilities in marriage, but the last 50 years of no-fault divorce cases here and throughout the country have actually leaned heavily in the other direction.

Plan a family law trial with a possible appeal in mind

Family law cases that go to trial are often very complex matters that require ample preparation. For any family law case that is being prepared for trial, it is imperative that they are planned with an appeal in mind.

The appeals process is fickle. Instead of preparing a case for appeal at the time of the appeal, you have to prepare during the trial. This is because you aren't going to present new information for the appeal. Instead, appeals are based on a review of the information already presented at the trial. Here are some points to consider when taking a proactive stance to appeals in family law cases:

Understand some important points about domestic violence

Many people wonder why people who are in abusive relationships stay. While there are many reasons for this, one of the primary reasons is that the person simply can't leave. In nearly all relationships that involve domestic violence, the abuser uses financial abuse to keep the victim there because the victim doesn't have the economic means to leave.

One factor about domestic violence is that an average of three women per day die due to domestic violence. Around one out of every four women have experienced domestic abuse. Domestic violence is one of the leading causes of injury in women who are 18 to 44 years old.

Should parents share a home after a divorce?

Any time a couple with children divorces, there is an unavoidable amount of strain to the parent-child relationships, as well as many opportunities for children to suffer great emotional harm throughout the process.

The potential for this harm extends well beyond the actual divorce, as you and your former spouse work out the details of staying involved in your children's lives while no longer married to each other.

Set the tone for your divorce through mediation

If you're in an unhealthy marriage, the chances are high that you are considering a divorce. However, many spouses don't know where to start with divorce, or worry that the process will be so difficult that they simply can't bear to go through with it.

This is especially true of individuals whose spouses are temperamental. If you worry about how your spouse will respond when you think about bringing up divorce, it may help to speak with an attorney to get some solid facts about the divorce process and examine strategies you can use to keep the matter professional and civil.

What to include and leave out of a prenuptial agreement

A prenuptial agreement is an insurance policy of sorts. It is a way that you can ensure that you know what you are going to walk away with if your marriage doesn't work out. This is an important document that you must ensure is fully enforceable.

There are several things that you can't include in a prenuptial agreement, so make sure that you leave these out. Some of the things to avoid include anything that has to do with child custody or child support. You should also know that waiving alimony payments can't be included in most prenuptial agreements.