Divorce affects one in two marriages in the United States every year, and as time passes that percentage continues to increase. If you are involved in a marriage, it is important that you remain cognizant of the common signs that ultimately lead to divorce. If these trends are present in your relationship, there are some methods you may employ in order to save your marriage.
As a wedding day approaches, most couples are consumed with thoughts of dresses, flowers, music, food, fun, and love. The last thing anyone wants to think about, much less talk about, is how assets will be divided in the event of divorce! However, this is a conversation that many couples need to have. Marriage is full of tricky discussions - it's ok to start practicing that skill now.
A common law marriage is distinguished from a regular marriage in that no marriage license is required. Instead, parties just have exchange words of intent to be married and hold themselves out to their community as a married couple. Often, the parties also lived together for some length of time as well. Common law marriage was abolished in Pennsylvania in 2005. Parties who met the requirements for common law marriage prior to 2005 can still be recognized as valid marriages. Once a common law marriage is established, it can only be resolved by divorce just as with any regular marriage. Moser v. Renninger, 2012 PA Super 59 (2011) discusses how to evaluate whether a valid common law marriage exists.
Gone are the days when prenuptial agreements are viewed as contracts on a marriage or a guarantee on divorce. While some religions and cultures still do frown upon them, they can be a great way to talk about finances and strengthen your marriage with clear expectations. If you have children from a previous relationship and significant assets to protect, a prenup can also make everyone feel more comfortable.
The Philadelphia Center for Emotionally Focused Training is sponsoring a workshop for couples on February 2, 2013 titled "Hold Me Tight." The focus of the workshop is to help couples reconnect and move forward in a more loving relationship. Dr. Ruth Jampol and Dr. Nancy Logue will be facilitating the workshop which will use the book written by Dr. Sue Johnson titled "Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love." The workshop will be held at 102 West Maple Avenue, Langhorne, PA 19047 from 9:30 am until 4:30 pm. Potential participants are encouraged to register in advance. Additional information regarding the workshop can be found in the flyer on our home page as well as the link below.
Given the statistics on the likelihood of divorce, many couples are opting to enter into pre-nuptial agreements to protect their rights in the event of a divorce. A pre-nuptial agreement is a private contract between the parties entered into prior to their marriage that outlines how assets and debts will be handled if the parties subsequently divorce. A basic and straight-forward pre-nuptial agreement would provide that each party retains anything they acquire in their own name and that anything marital or acquired jointly will be divided based on the divorce laws. A pre-nuptial agreement may also provide for an increasing amount of support to a spouse based on the number of years married or number of children produced. Alternatively, one spouse may be required to pay support as a punishment if they commit adultery during the marriage.