“The only constant is change.” - Heraclitus
Living arrangements are now more diverse than at any time since World War II. 65 and older is the only age group where living with a spouse is more common today than 50 years ago — every other age group has witnessed a substantial decline in marriage. (United States Census Bureau)
Relationships are continuing to undergo a paradigm shift. How do we create a new financial paradigm to match it while the legal system catches up? How do you keep yourself, your children, and your families secure? How do you inject certainty - you decide, not a judge at some distant date?
- You’re living together, buy a house and decide to move on?
- You’re married and one person gets a credit card without the other’s knowledge?
- You’re living together and one’s partner’s business goes under?
- You’re married and the old IRS debt of a former spouse resurfaces?
- You're living together and have kids?
- You’re engaged and one pays rent to live in a house the other owns?
- You live together for 10 years, are you deemed married?
- You're engaged and you have a joint checking account?
- You're engaged and one of you becomes disabled?
- You're married and one of you sells a project or business for seven figures?
All these questions are answerable, and better yet, you can determine the outcome yourselves - and yet...
In a classic “Seinfeld” scene, George has cold feet after getting engaged. He flies into a panic and asks the group how to get out of the wedding.
“You really want to get out of this thing?” asked Kramer. “I got two words for you: ‘pre . . . nup’.”
Elaine chimes in: “I wouldn’t sign one.”
Is there any other legal document whose mere mention threatens to tank the relationship - the reason for the agreement in the first place? I can’t think of one.
But it' not the people or legal document, it's the discussions themselves that turns lovers into adversaries. It doesn't have to be that way. Deciding your future can be a loving process that brings to light shared values, dreams, and goals.