Note: I use the term “temporary” marriage below instead of “short-term” marriage because the latter is how marriages of very short duration are described and labeled in some courts. (*See below for more on “short-term” marriage in Oregon.)
Whenever someone asks why we (Americans, I presume, or maybe Oregonians) don’t have temporary or “short-term” marriage (meaning of limited duration by choice, not a marriage that lasts for a short-term), I refrain from playing the wedding-wag and saying, “what do you think a prenup is all about?”
Prenuptial agreements are about a whole lot more than money and power and can be extremely valuable marriage contracts, but if not managed seriously by each party to the marriage, I suppose they could be viewed as a back-door route to temporary marriage (e.g. in Islamic law), which may be one among other reasons they can raise some people’s blood pressure.
If you are planning to marry and are curious about prenups (curiosity is a good thing), in addition to reading some of those terrifying books, websites, and magazines on weddings, I recommend you read Nolo Press, “Prenuptial Agreements: How to Write a Fair & Lasting Contract,” 3rd ed., by Katherine Stoner & Shae Irving, J.D.
County law librarians work with a lot of family law attorneys and pro se litigants contending with family law issues (marriage, divorce, custody, support). Not a small percentage of them have questions about spousal support (and subsequent modification). If your practice (or your life) hasn’t been such that you keep up with the law on this subject on a regular basis, you’ll need to do some research in the primary sources (starting with your state’s “Digest,” usually), the secondary sources (e.g. treatises and periodicals), and in your state’s legal practice research resources.
(I highly recommend a West “Digest” Topic (e.g. Divorce or Husband and Wife) search for starters and make sure you read the Scope Notes.)
Lately, though, every time I hear a summary of the facts for these cases, I think of the book “The Feminine Mistake.”
A Criminal Waste of Space has a new address (aka URL), so if you’re a Justice “CWoS” Bedsworth fan, update your bookmarks. If you’re not a fan, well, what can I say? Take solace in the likelihood that the URL will change again and next time we might not be able to find it or get it free. Alas.
This month, December 2009 (wowsers!), our favorite off-beat appellate court justice who manages to “get it out of his system” and give us so many chuckles and guffaws, is still suffering from post-World-Series-Angst and we’re glad of it!
I posted many years ago on this subject, more a note for myself than for readers, but I have had reason lately to update that post for all of us, with these new resources:
1) The 2009 Family Law OSB CLE also has a couple of chapters on the subject.
2) Bankruptcy and Domestic Relations Manual, by Hon. William Houston Brown, 2008-09 edition, Thomson-West Bankruptcy Series
Is the engagement ring yours, mine, ours, or theirs (e.g. creditors or charities)?
This post is for those who want or need to resolve the Engagement Ring Dispute by delving into the Law (mostly Oregon), which, given what I’ve unearthed, isn’t that far from simply asking oneself, “What would Miss Manners (or Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, or even George Mitchell) Do?”
Warning: Do not expect An Answer, at least not a simple one. But you may find your own answer in all of this (or at least another view of the “marriage catastrophe” a la Zorba).
Real Life Name Changes:
1) Your Oregon County Circuit Court is the best place to begin if you need or want to make an actual name change. Many have name-change forms online or for sale at the Courthouse.
2) For example, in Washington County, visit the Washington County Circuit Court webpage on Name Change for forms and information.
“This website is designed to help Oregon residents who wish to represent themselves in an uncontested divorce. Here you will find step-by-step instructions for filling out the Optional Statewide Family Law Forms prepared by the State of Oregon Judicial Branch. You will also be given step-by-step instructions for processing the forms and performing the other necessary tasks required by the court.
This website is presented by Legal Aid Services of Oregon, in collaboration with Oregon’s legal aid programs.” Oregon Forms Help.
People seeking to divorce often don’t realize how entwined their lives have become, with each other and with the law. It’s hard enough to deal with finances (and the dreaded QDRO) and “telling the children,” but what do you do when the benefited children get their own divorces, and the will doesn’t specify what share, if any, the ex-spouse gets?
A recent article in the April 2009 issue of the OSB Estate Planning and Administration Section newsletter (previous issues of the newsletter are free online) addresses some of these issues and looks at some recent Oregon cases:
“How to Avoid Unintended Consequences of Estate Planning in Dissolution Court,” by Lisa Bertalan and Melissa Lande.