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HI, What constitutes duress sufficient to invalidate a prenuptial agreement varies from state to state and even judge to judge. You must always consult local legal counsel when trying to make a decision of this magnitude which will so impact your life. What is safest always when you are angry or have doubts is to […]

Gemma Allen answers “Re Duress and its Definitions”

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If I agree to a prenup and my circumstances change — ie if I lose my job, but have promised to pay a certain amount of support — can that be changed despite the prenup?

Savage Says:  That’s why most well-drawn prenups don’t specify as simple dollar amount.  Instead they might specify a percentage of earnings or a percentage of accumulated assets.  (Same thing with your will — you don’t want to specify dollar amounts since doing so might impact the distribution of your estate to those you love.)

The idea is to come to agreement on what percentage,  if any, each of you would owe the other of your earnings.  And how your marital assets (those not set aside by virtue of the prenup) would be divided.  Keep in mind that if you make retirement contributions from earnings while married, and she does not, then depending on how your prenup is worded, your spouse might have an interest in a portion of those retirement funds as you divide things up.

Again, this is why you need attorneys well-versed in the legal aspects and obligations required in your state of residence.

Gemma Allen and Terry Savage weigh in on “What happens if . . .?”

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I’ve been hearing a lot of stories about prenups — a very wealthy couple in Chicago is divorcing and she is contesting what seems like a horrible prenup. She should have known better, as she was a “money pro.” You must have read about this! But your books says “signing under duress” is not a way to invalidate a prenup.

Savage Says:  I’ll let Gemma respond re the legalities — but this is a HEADLINE issue that should let you know how important it is to start work on a prenup well in advance of the wedding, understand what you want and might one day NEED — and NEVER sign off just because the wedding is planned for the next few days.  This is the oldest trick in the book — and this woman fell for it!

Gemma Allen and Terry Savage weigh in on “Prenups in the News in Chicago”

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My daughter has been dating steadily and is considering marrying or possibly living with her boyfriend. She is near college graduation with great work prospects, while he has not finished school and is not working. When I brought up the subject of a financial agreement, he walked away and she gave me sad eyes. What do I do?

Answer:  At the risk of sounding too commercial, this is EXACTLY the reason we wrote The New Love Deal!  Buy her a book on or download it to her Kindle!  We certainly understand your concern.  The situation is obvious to all but your daughter.  That’s why they say that “love is blind.”  Your only mistake was in not discussing this with her privately as opposed to bringing it up to him.  (Though in my family, everyone expects me to say something like that to any young couple in the room!!)

In the book  we talk about sitting down at a computer together and each going to to get your own credit report.  Then exchange them.  I’m betting that if your daughter and her boyfriend do this, it will be an eye-opener in black and white!

All three authors discuss “”

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I’m 32. A couple years ago I purchased a timeshare and now I feel it was a really bad decision cause I haven’t used it. When I did purchase it my boyfriend at the time was supposed to pay half but we are currently not together and I’ve been making the payments on my own since he hasn’t given me money for it. Part of me wants to stop paying for it, but I’m afraid of ruining my credit. I’ve always paid my bills on time and what I’m wondering is if I did stop paying for it how much would it affect my credit? I’m just really not liking the fact I’m paying for something that I’m not using it seems like a waste. I even talked to the people that sold me the time share but they said it needs to be paid off in order to sell it. Any advise that you may have would be great.

Terry Savage answers “Ex-boyfriend isn’t paying his portion of timeshare”

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My boyfriend spends ALL his money. I mean all of it! He has a good job – but he buys expensive clothes, and insists we go to the “best” restaurants, and he buys me presents. My friends say I shouldn’t complain and that I should be happy – but it really worries me. What do you think?

Terry Savage answers “My boyfriend spends ALL his money!”

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I have been living with a man 8 years older (65) than myself without an agreement. His plans are to retire next April and needs to relocate to his house up north (as he is underwater with it) and sell the place here. He would like me to move with him however I still need to work as no provisions have been made to the contrary – how should I handle? The job market/wages are much lower if I were to move and work. If all else fails I suppose I could simply visit on weekends as he would only be three hours away. What are your thoughts?

Gemma Allen and Terry Savage weigh in on “He needs to move after retiring. I don’t know if I can. What should I do?”

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My fiancee’s parents keep saying we should have a prenup. But we think it’s silly. We both have student loans. And he is using most of his savings to help pay for our wedding and honeymoon trip. There isn’t much to put in a prenup. What should we be saying to his parents?

Terry Savage answers “Are Prenups Silly?”

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We are a same sex couple and have been living together in Illinois for the past 9 years. Now we can legally get married. We aren’t going to change our names, and we already own our condo in joint name. Do we have to change the title, or tell the mortgage company?

Gemma Allen answers “Do I have to change title after marriage?”

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We live together in California, which is a community property state. I have owned this house for 5 years. If we marry does half automatically become hers, even if the title stays in my name?

Gemma Allen answers “Does Marriage Automatically Equal Half in a Community Property State?”

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