February 27, 2011

Rules for a "Non-Traditional" Marriage

Read/Post Comments (1)

Agreements regarding marriage -- or even non-marital "relationships" are NOT "Agreements" that can be based on a handshake or a kiss. If a couple wants an Agreement that they can rely on, that they can go to Court and enforce if there is a dispute, they'll have to know something about the law that affects the Agreement -- which means that a LAWYER should undoubtedly get involved.

If you are planning to get married soon, then the Missouri "rules" of your Agreement can be found at RSMo 451.220, ff. For Missouri law, check my web site at http://www.peggyhedrick.com/prenup.html or check with the staff at your library. If you live in any other country, or state, you’ll have to check THEIR law – because the law is different from one state to another!

A few of the Missouri concepts that help couples who have lives that don’t fit into the usual “box”:

RSMo 451.220 applies if marriage is contemplated, anticipated or already involved, there is a statute that tells you what MUST be included in the agreement. The Agreements would be called "pre" nuptial or "post" nuptial depending upon whether they are drafted and signed before or after the marriage.

RSMo 432.010 applies if NO marriage is contemplated or anticipated, but the parties intend to have a "partnership" or "companion" relationship. More and more, both same gender and heterosexual couples are choosing to live together without a legally binding marriage. The reasons for rejecting the form of marriage required by state law may be related to social or family conflicts, religious reasons, or simply personal preference. Contract law may provide the structure that they need to obtain the protections and benefits of their agreements.

Other statutes (Missouri laws) provide certain protections, if problems develop. For instance, there may need to be special wording of the "acknowledgment" (the paragraph used in the notary statement) and the signatures notarized. The couple may have fewer problems of "proof" if disputes develop, if exact wording is used. And, even if the “Agreement” may be valid between the parties, third parties (like creditors, heirs, and some others) will not be bound by it unless they are given a special kind of notice of its existence.

If a reader has problems with a relationship, consult your lawyer, and/or check out the link to my web site at http://www.peggyhedrick.com/prenup.html for discussion of road blocks and options. You may also submit a question or comment to this blog.

Posted by Peggy S. Hedrick at 2:48pm

Click here to comment:

Very informative—and a nice photograph as well. Why do you not put it at the top of your blog?

Posted by Charles Hedrick on 2/28/2011 at 12:51pm

I didn’t put it at the top because Wonder Woman is up there—and I don’t want the reader to get us confused.
Posted by Peggy on 2/28/2011 at 6:06pm