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February 2016 - Avoid the Wedding Bell Blues

Wedding Planning and preparing for a wedding is an exciting time. However, addressing certain legal and financial practicalities before and during marriage can improve your chances of having a successful, happy union. Here are some things you should consider:

  • One may assume that after marriage “yours” and “mine” automatically becomes “ours,” but that isn’t necessarily the case. Marital property is defined as property each individual accumulates during the marriage with the exception of property acquired as a gift or inheritance. Therefore, couples can have both (a) non-marital property (i.e., assets acquired prior to marriage and those acquired during marriage in the form of a gift or inheritance) and (b) marital property.

    1. If you want non-marital assets to be separate, keep them separate – keep them separate. Don’t deposit money earned during your marriage into non-marital accounts; don’t use non-marital funds to pay marital debt. This can compromise the status of non-marital assets.

    2. Appreciation of non-marital assets (property, businesses, investments) during the marriage may be considered marital property, especially if the appreciation is active, meaning it resulted from some action on the part of the owner (i.e., managing an investment; renovating a property).

  • Prenuptial agreements aren’t romantic but they can address many of the above issues. Your agreement must be in writing and should contain the following to avoid being declared invalid:

    • Signatures of both parties, signed without duress, prior to the wedding;

    • Complete and accurate information;

    • No unconscionable terms – meaning neither party should be left with severe financial hardship while the other prospers.

Marriage requires work, but it can be worth it. My wife, Cindy, and I happily celebrated our 20th anniversary this year!

As published in the February 2016 issue of the "Clinton Township Newsletter."
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We recently had a situation where we needed to hire an attorney. We selected Kearns Rotolo Law and I can honestly say that we were above and beyond satisfied with Vic and his team. We would absolutely recommend this firm to anyone should the need arise. We blindly picked the firm out of the phone book because I liked his ad. Now I believe that God was pointing us in the right direction. Thank you Vic and Kearns Rotolo Law for being there for us in our time of need.

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Victor's expertise, due diligence, and empathy for his client made my first experience with the law (and last) a non-stressful one. Before the case, I did my research and looked over about 20 lawyers before choosing Victor. All my sources pointed to him as the best and they weren't off even a bit. Victor treated my case like it was his own and kept me up to date with all my appointments, breakthroughs in the case, and guided me step through step in a process that I never thought that I had to come to endure. If Victor's not available Susy will go out of her way to take care you. The productivity and efficiency in that office is second to none. Thank you Victor!

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