Monday, May 22, 2006

Another lecture topic

The professor is in!
From Kanye West's "Goldigger"
"We want prenup, yeah...its somethin'that you need to have"
Wiser words were never spoken by a misogynst who creates such great rhymes. (Warning: explicit lyrics)

Virginia is an equitable distribution state, meaning unless you have more than a modest amount of assets, it is worthwhile to agree on a distribution of assets so the lawyers dont get them all. A good time to agree on a distribution of assets is prior to the marriage. I advise a prenup especially when any party is bringing assets into the marriage (which will generally remain separate property in the event of a divorce UNLESS...there is always an unless so consult an attorney).

Child support calculator is a very helpful tool to calculate child support amounts. Generally, a deviation from the guideline amount has to meet with court approval, so it may not be outlined very specifically in a prenup.

Some jurisdictions in VA have calculators for spousal support, a prenup can take care of this issue very easily. If not addressed in a prenup, spousal support is within the discretion of the court.

Basically, if you have assets in order to protect them a prenup would be helpful. If a prenup is not possible, I strongly advise a Will outlining your wishes for those assets. To be clear, in VA there is the right of election, so a spouse can seek an elected share of an estate thereby denying children and other heirs assets you may have placed in a Will for them (to the exclusion of the spouse). A prenup can provide for a disclaimer of the elected share.

It is helpful if both parties work to draft the prenup, but if one party presents it to the other, PLEASE seek counsel before signing it.

Marriage is a contract between you, your betrothed and the state. You can minimize the state's role in your marriage by planning with a prenup, and/or a tightly drafted Will & Power of Attorney (and dont forget Advanced Medical Directives).

From Ron's blog (and I am officially posting it with this post) He has some great information for those interested in family law issues:
"The information provided on this web blog is public information and is not individualized legal advice. Do not take any legal action on any information contained in this blog!!! Always consulting with an attorney in your state about your legal issues. The presentation of information on this blog does not establish any form of attorney-client relationship with my firm or with me. While I have attempted to maintain the information on this blog as accurately as possible, this information may contain errors or omissions, for which I disclaim any liability. Case law from other jurisdictions discussed here are discussed for comparative purposes only. The author is licensed to practice only in the Commonwealth of Virginia and not in any other state. Despite the foregoing, this material could be considered to be ADVERTISING MATERIAL."

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