I do! Sure thing. Your marriage is now consummated…but that’s the easy part. Now comes the hard stuff!

Yes, that’s right. Getting married is relatively easy. You got your ironclad prenup, you had your gorgeous wedding with your dearest friends and family. You had your fun. Now it’s time to pour meaning into those vowels! Welcome to a new reality in your role as a husband or wife or life partner. Sadly, many couples go into marriage with very naive assumptions about what the vowels, and the contract of marriage, mean. In any given state in the United States if we were to stack the legal texts related to marriage up, on one top of the next, it would be floor-to-ceiling in even the grandest of homes. 


So while you’re still on cloud nine – maybe you’re even at Cloud 9 – it’s time to get your financial house in order, sync with your partner and tackle these imperative tasks that will keep your marriage on track for a life of success.   


OK, this is the last easy one and pretty self-explanatory. Wedding planning is hard. Being surrounded by a bunch of people that want to hug and congratulate you is sometimes even harder. You deserve a break. Take a few days off and gather your bearings. Marriage is a blast and one of life’s true pleasures, but you deserve a break.  See you at step two.


Alright, you may consider this one questionable, but we firmly believe every couple can benefit from having an experienced, neutral third party to help them work through issues. Love and relationships are tricky, and you will obviously be highly emotionally invested in yours, so at times it’s difficult to step away from immediate frustrations and feelings and focus on solutions, and on the big picture. A preemptive counseling session a few times each year may help you avoid bigger problems later. Besides, it can’t hurt! 


If you have taken a new name, fill out Form SS-5 for a new Social Security card and Form DS-5504 or Form DS-11 for your passport, then visit your local DMV to update your driver’s license. Once you have your new documents, make sure you’ve changed your name on all your banking, credit card and savings accounts. Also, you will need to consider, among others: 

  • Vehicle Title & Registration
  • Professional Licenses
  • Frequent Flier Accounts
  • Loyalty Programs
  • and much more…


A lot of couples get confused on this one. Prenuptial Agreements are about managing affairs and assets during marriage. Upon death, marriage legally ends. Trusts & Wills are about death. You probably should have both, and we’d consider this one a top priority for right after the wedding. If you need help, reach out to a JUSTLAW rep to schedule a free consultation.  Remember, without a will, you leave it up to a court to decide how to handle your estate.

Along with your will, make sure you have enacted a power of attorney, so your spouse can make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.


Are you going to keep your individual bank accounts, or will you merge them into one?

Sharing a bank account can make paying the bills and building your rainy-day fund simpler. Just make sure you set expectations beforehand about saving, spending and bills. Also, don’t forget to set aside some “fun money” for zero-judgment, zero-guilt splurges for each of you.

For others, sharing an account might feel like losing financial independence. It might also cause stress if one spouse enters the marriage with obligations like student loans, child support, alimony and other debts that get pulled from a shared pool of money. If you want to keep accounts separate, it’s important to be on the same page about who pays for what — from utility bills to groceries.

Of course, you can always develop a hybrid system, where you both maintain separate accounts but contribute a portion to a shared savings account. Ultimately, there’s no wrong answer, you just need to talk it out.


In the event you have not checked your important records of late, you should investigate beneficiaries of your 401(k) and your old boyfriend could still be listed as an emergency contact. We often see couples where this information is quite dated and irrelevant. In addition, think about whose health insurance plan you’ll use by comparing cost and treatment options. If you’re the one making the switch, make sure the doctors you like are on the new plan.

Update your HR rep at your job with the latest information, and then verify all your retirement accounts, insurance policies and even bank accounts (these typically have something called transfer or pay on death) if you’re not making your spouse a joint account holder.


As a married couple, you can either file taxes separately or jointly with your new spouse. Sometimes this will be covered by your premarital agreement. Any sound tax professional can help you decide the best route, based on your situation. However, whatever your tax status, you should update your withholding to indicate you are married. Contact your accountant if self-employed, or your HR department if you have a job, to change your status.


Life Insurance: If you don’t have life insurance yet, now is the time to consider it; you have someone else who, at least partially, depends on you financially. Talk with an advisor about how much and what kind is right for your situation. They can also show you how a policy can grow with you in the future (perhaps if kids enter the picture). And think twice about relying solely on your work-based policy, because if you lose your job, you will lose your coverage.

Health Insurance: This is also a terrific time to check your medical insurance coverage and choose the best choice between your plan and your spouse’s plan. Whilst you commonly can’t switch plans outside of the enrollment length, marriage is considered a qualifying event that qualifies you for a “special enrollment period” that generally gives you 60 days after the “lifestyles event” to make modifications.

Talk to your HR department, or if you have individual insurance, follow these directions.

Car Insurance: Check with your insurer to see if you can get better rates by combining policies and potentially enjoying a “marriage” discount.


With a lot of the aforementioned paperwork stuff out of the way, it’s time for some fun. How will you and your partner spend the rest of your lives together?

That is a huge question to answer, but it will generate so many exciting discussions with your spouse. Talk about when you both want to retire and the lifestyle you want to maintain. Talk about travel, or children, or second houses, or starting a business or a backyard pool. Take your bucket lists and merge them into a master list of things to do together. Your life as a married couple is a blank slate that you can fill in however you choose. How awesome is that?!

Mapping your destiny as a couple is highly pleasant; however, those discussions can even contemplate existential and financial objectives. Your dialogue with your new partner will help you each to get on the same, and right, page about your monetary priorities collectively. When you’ve built a vision for the destiny that excites you both, it’ll be a lot less difficult – and worthwhile – to stick to a monetary plan that gets you in which you want to head. Of route, if you’ve were given large dreams but the direction forward is a little hazy, a financial planner can help formulate a plan that supports you to “ever after.”


The IRS treats unmarried individuals differently to married ones. Now that you and your spouse are legally combined, you need to decide whether you’re going to file together or continue to file separately (joint filing isn’t something mandated by law, though it’s generally recommended). Before deciding, consult your accountant to see what they advise for the two of you. Filing jointly has its benefits – primarily lower taxes, but also potentially spreading investment losses across both incomes – but also downsides, like having to share all the details of your finances and potentially complicated your spouse’s situation with any LLCs or other entities you maintain. 


How to Set Up Your Own Small Business (Sub-contractor)

Welcome, and congrats on your decision to become an independent business subcontractor! More and more companies are looking to outsource their jobs to independent contractors, and as the freelance market continues to boom, customers will be increasingly expecting on-demand appointments and instant service. Becoming an independent, self-employed contractor is ideal for experts skilled in a profession, such as plumbing, electrical work, drywall, roofing, and auto detail. Subcontractors can take advantage of the flexibility of owning a business to meet these and other growing demands of both larger companies and customers. Here, we’ll dive into the main emotional, financial, and legal ideas to consider as you start your own subcontractor-based small business.

independent contractor

Emotional Considerations

Before even considering the financial and legal sides of starting a business, you need to make sure that you have the emotional strength to work through the challenges of being an entrepreneur. Handling 100% of the failures, in addition to the successes, can cause severe stress and anxiety. Therefore, for those who are prone to severe anxiousness or stress about their career, going the entrepreneurial route is not advised. However, if you determine that you have the mental fortitude to become an independent subcontractor, here is the best advice you’ll ever get for starting a business.


Financial Considerations

After considering your emotional capacity to handle the demands of entrepreneurship, the next step is to determine the initial funding for your business. Will you need family and friends to invest? Will you have outside investors? Do you have a savings stockpile to fund the enterprise yourself? It can be awkward and relationship-damaging asking family and friends for funding, especially if the business fails. Therefore, asking friends and family should be the last resort. If you are an expert with a long track record in a trade that is in demand, you likely have spent years building a reputation with clients. As a result of this hard work, you should feel comfortable that your business will succeed if you continue this excellence and are able to book business through your network of past and current clients. In this case, a business loan with a low-interest rate is an attractive option without having to rely on investors or large savings.

Once the business is up and running, you can take advantage of setting your own hours and taking in all the profits, two of the major attractions of owning a small business. In addition to these benefits, you can take advantage of tax deductions for small businesses on home expenses, driving expenses, and depreciation expenses on property and equipment that you cannot deduct from your personal taxes.


Legal Considerations

Once the emotional and financial considerations are taken care of, you can start handling the legal aspects of starting a business. For starting a subcontractor business, sole proprietorships are most common due to their cost-effective and streamlined application process. However, as a sole proprietorship, your personal assets will be intertwined with the business. In the case that the business goes bankrupt, you can be held liable to pay off the business’ debts. On the other hand, if you’re willing to cover the greater financial cost and longer application process of creating a limited-liability corporation (LLC), you will NOT be held personally liable for the business’ finances since you and the business are separate legal entities. For further advice on whether to form a sole proprietorship or an LLC, as well as have access to an entire team of small business lawyers for the fraction of the usual hourly rate for legal assistance, check out JUSTLAW’s legal plans for small businesses.

The Durable Power of Attorney…..What is it Good For?


James Barrett- DPOA

James Barrett, Esq.

James Barrett has been counseling clients for over 12 years in estate planning, prenuptial agreements and small business formation. He is a highly decorated veteran of the US Navy. He completed a 30-year career as an air traffic controller and union advocate. He has bachelor’s degrees from Florida International University and the National Labor College. He is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law (2010) and has been in private solo practice ever since. He is admitted to the Florida Bar and his practice is virtual serving all the citizens of Florida.


Everyday, You make significant decisions concerning your assets, healthcare, finances, and other important aspects of your life every day. But what if you were unable to do so for any reason?

A durable power of attorney (DPOA) is the most powerful tool in planning for physical or mental incapacity. It is much more powerful than a Last Will and Testament or regular power of attorney and should be considered a vital document in any estate plan. The DPOA is relevant at any age, but especially necessary for older people who are more susceptible to mental deterioration. Problems begin when a person is incapable or unable to make financial decisions for themselves. A person may be unable to make these decisions because of the onset of dementia, being in a coma, or suffering from a head injury. Mortgages, car payments, medical bills and other obligations still need to be addressed during these times. Moreover, an individual may need to make important decisions about public assistance like Medicare, Medicaid, or Veterans benefits. It is not always the case that a close relative can legally deal with these issues and most financial institutions will not even speak with a relative without a properly executed power of attorney. It can cost thousands of dollars in legal fees and waste tremendous amounts of time in the courts to be granted the authority that a power of attorney provides.

How to create a Durable Power of Attorney?

The process to create a DPOA is straightforward but should be done by an attorney in the state where the person resides. DPOAs are authorized by state statute and each state varies as to what is permissible to include in the document. States may also differ in how DPOAs are executed. Generally, the scope of an agent’s power is defined within the DPOA document itself. Powers cannot be assumed; they must be explicitly granted within the DPOA. Essentially, the person making the DPOA appoints an agent to act on their behalf for financial affairs. Typically, the agent is authorized to access the person’s accounts, pay bills, apply for benefits, or take any number of other actions, up to and including accessing online accounts, even social media. This access assumes the person has created and maintained a password vault of some form – that’s a topic for another day!

It is critically important that any DPOA be, well, durable. A durable power of attorney survives the person’s incapacity. There is usually language that must be included such as, This power of attorney shall not be affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal.” A regular power of attorney will not be effective when the person is incapacitated absent language in the document to the contrary.

When is it effective?

There are two basic options for when the document is effective. First, the document could be effective immediately upon signing, even though the client is still lucid and capable (which, of course, they must be to effectively execute the DPOA). People are often surprised by and uncomfortable with this option. The key to alleviating this concern is to only give this power to someone that is, without a doubt, trustworthy. Also, in most states, the named agent does not need to execute the document; indeed, the person is under no obligation to even inform the named agent that they have been designated as such. The document itself can be kept in safekeeping until it is needed.

The alternative to an immediately effective power of attorney is a springing power of attorney. A springing power is effective—springs to life, as it were—upon a future event identified in the document, such as the person’s incapacity. Under a traditional springing power, the agent has no authority to act unless and until the person becomes incapacitated. However, a springing power can be significantly more difficult for an agent to administer because financial institutions may demand a current medical report, signed by a doctor as evidence of incapacity before they allow the agent to act.

As with any appointment of an agent, there are potential pitfalls to consider in executing a DPOA. First and foremost, DPOAs provide broad authority that could be abused by the named agent. The potential for abuse grows with the scope of authority. Can the agent give a gift to themselves under the document? Can they change beneficiary designations on financial accounts?

With those caveats in mind, a DPOA should be developed with an attorney and included in most, if not all, estate plans to ensure that the agent can easily act if the person becomes incapacitated.  If you have questions, reach out to us for a consultation.

Have you Received an Eviction Notice? Here’s What To Do

If you have received an eviction notice, do not panic. Notice evictions are just the first step a landlord must take in a tumultuous process that requires numerous steps. Thus, you don’t have to immediately move out, and in some cases, you may never have to move out. So, take a second to relax and review what our real estate attorneys say are the most important steps to take after receiving an eviction notice.

But before we dive into that, it may be helpful to understand what an eviction exactly is. An eviction is the process by which tenants are legally removed from the property they reside in. Evictions are court enforced and thus no eviction can ever take place without a court order telling you to do so. Evictions can occur for a number of reasons including but not limited to, not paying rent, causing damage to the property, having unauthorized guests or pets on the property, criminal activity, violence, and even too much noise. Occasionally, tenants are even evicted because they were unaware or failed to realize that their lease was up, and they have overstayed their welcome on the property.

Now that you are an eviction expert, follow these steps to best combat the eviction notice you just received:

Step #1: Learn and understand the reason you were served with the eviction notice.

This may seem as an obvious step, but it cannot be ignored. Reading eviction notices can be disheartening, however you must understand the reason you are receiving the notice. Perhaps, you can remedy the reason. If it is for not paying rent or causing damage to the apartment, the landlord may provide you with an option to avoid the eviction by paying your missed rent or fixing the damage to the property.

Step #2: Check your state and local laws.

Regardless of the eviction notice, you should ensure that the eviction notice is a proper legality under your state and local laws. While you certainly can peruse state laws in your areas on whether the eviction is proper, an attorney can be especially helpful for this step.

You should also check your state’s moratorium on evictions. For example, New York’s moratorium is scheduled to end January 15, 2022. For more information on moratoriums, check out this post recently crafted by JUSTLAW.

Step #3: Check your lease.

State and local laws aren’t the only bodies of law that control your apartment. Your lease does as well! Check it over and view whether the activity the eviction notice has accused you of is explicitly stated in the lease.

Step #4: Respond to the notice.

At this point, if you have exhausted steps 1 though 3, it’s time to engage with your landlord. Landlords are humans too and they may be empathetic to your situation.

Therefore, either write back to the landlord or schedule a face to face, or of course a video call, with your landlord to straighten out the situation. Offer your missed rent payments, tell them you’ll remove your pet, or ensure they know that the damage to the property will be fixed momentarily. But also do not be afraid to put your negotiation hat on. If you missed a few rent payments and the landlord asks for rent and interest, counter the landlord with just rent and not interest. Remember, there are always other places to live, so be a negotiator! 

If you need a real estate attorney to help you fight your eviction notice, look no further than Justlaw. Free consultations are available across all 50 states with an attorney right in your area who is highly qualified in evictions.

Prenuptial Agreements: What does State Law Allow

Marriages, engagements, divorces and just about everything you can imagine that has to do with a family or a couple is governed by individual state laws. That is to say, family law is state law. However, while state law attempts to strive for fairness and equitable distribution, the law may not be the best for your situation. Prenuptial agreements allow for engaged couples to choose their own destiny.

Here are some common areas that are handled by state law and how a prenuptial agreement can avoid the state law from taking effect:

  1. Assets

When a couple divorces, much effort is spent dividing up the assets that both spouses accumulated during the marriage, otherwise known as marital property. States take two different approaches as to how marital property is divided up. One is referred to as a community property jurisdiction and the other is referred to as an equitable distribution jurisdiction.

Community property jurisdictions are only recognized in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Such states divide marital property evenly, using a 50/50 split. In the more common method of equitable distribution, judges divide up the property in an equitable or fair manner depending on the individual circumstances of the divorcing couple. Both methods allow for separate property, property that spouses owned before the marriage, to stay with that spouse, post-divorce.

In most cases if not all, divorced couples fight and fight over how their assets should be divided. Regardless, state law controls and it ultimately leaves either one of the divorcees or both divorcees upset. That is exactly why prenuptial agreements are so important for a couple looking to marry. By adding a provision in the pre nup detailing how your assets shall be divided post-divorce, the couple has planned ahead for the worst case scenarios. Don’t let a judge decide how your assets will be divided, do it yourself.

  1. Debts

State laws handle debt similarly to assets. Spousal debt is either separate property that has essentially began to accumulate before the marriage or marital debt that has begun to build during the marriage.

Prenuptial agreements can include a provision that divides debts based on your preferences. This is especially important if your fiancé has a significant amount of debt, and you want to ensure you will not be responsible for some or any of it, post-divorce.

  1. Spousal support

It is very common for a married couple to include one spouse who works and another who stays home full time to care for their children. In many instances, when a couple of similar circumstances divorces, the stay-at-home spouse is entitled to spousal support from the working spouse. Factors that a judge will use to determine the amount of spousal support regularly include the stay-at-home spouse’s earning capacity at the time of the divorce, the length of the marriage, and the state’s divorce laws. Judges usually have the final say as to how spousal support is conducted, and their decisions may be to your dismay.

Once again, following the same theme as above, a prenuptial agreement can avoid a judge’s arbitrary decision on the award of spousal support. A pre nup can limit spousal support, post-divorce, based on your wishes.

If you read this and want absolutely nothing to do with state family law, click here and we can find an experienced lawyer to join you for a quick consultation and pre nup for a limited time offer of $569. Take advantage quick before this offer ends!



                                                ABOUT THE AUTHORS

                  Alex Safarian CDC EVICTION MORATORIUM

Alex Safarian is an attorney who litigates a wide range of claims, including Personal Injury, Unlawful Detainer, Fair Housing, Discrimination, Wrongful and Retaliatory Eviction, and Breach of Lease, and is well respected by defense attorneys, judges, and insurance companies in Los Angeles and neighboring counties for his integrity and compassionate representation of his clients.
Safarian is a member of Los Angeles Bar Association, Armenian Bar Association and the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and keeps close relationships with other Attorneys in his field.

                Ryan G. BlockCDC EVICTION MORATORIUM

Ryan Block is a seasoned trial attorney who has represented thousands of clients as the lead trial attorney and has appeared in front of over 50 judges in the Los Angeles County and surrounding areas.
Mr. Block’s reputation has allowed him to have tremendous success early in his career as the founding partner at Block LLP.  Mr. Block ensures his firm has excellence in service and consistency of results for each of his clients. After earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, Ryan earned his law degree from Southwestern Law School. Ryan began his legal career with the office of Dennis P. Block and associates, working on real estate litigation.

Click here to get to know him more

                              Learn more about BLOCK LLP

This Article has 3 parts. Stay Tuned for the continuation..


On September 4, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID–19”. This Order would be more colloquially described as the “CDC’s Eviction Moratorium.” This Moratorium was passed in an effort to address concerns that the economic effects of the pandemic on renters would lead to a glut of evictions and, by proxy, increased spread of COVID-19 among the newly unhoused. Specifically, the Moratorium’s statement of intent was:

“This Order shall be interpreted and implemented in a manner as to achieve the following objectives:

  • Mitigating the spread of COVID-19 within congregate or shared living settings, or through unsheltered homelessness;
  • Mitigating the further spread of COVID-19 from one U.S. State or U.S. territory into any other U.S. State or U.S. territory; 
  • And supporting response efforts to COVID-19 at the Federal, State, local, territorial, and tribal levels”

In support of this ideal, the CDC Moratorium was designed broadly. Functionally, if any rent-paying tenant, in any state, signed a declaration stating that they were suffering from COVID-19-related financial distress, and provided a copy to their landlord, then they could not be physically evicted until the expiration of the Moratorium, for non-payment of rent related reasons. On paper, the Moratorium threatened potential criminal penalties for any landlord who violated this order.

In practice, the Moratorium did not prevent any Landlord from filing an unlawful detainer action against their tenant. Presenting the declaration to a Court, in effect, stopped the clock until the order expired. However, there cannot be any doubt that the Moratorium was broad in scope. Provided the requisite declaration has been signed, any tenant, of any type, would be covered.

It was an order unconcerned with individual considerations. It was, as designed, an attempt to provide all tenants a back door when facing imminent eviction. While other statewide,

county, and city eviction moratoria provided similar protections to tenants in their relevant communities, the CDC Moratorium’s protections covered all tenants in all 50 states.



As originally designed, the order was to expire on December 31, 2020. The idea was that the Moratorium was a temporary stop-gap to help with the fears of the wildfire spread of COVID-19 during the winter of 2020 due to the imminent risks posed by evicting people.

When the spread of COVID-19 did not show signs of improvement by late December 2020, Congress extended the Moratorium for one month.  After this, Congress did not provide for any other extensions of the Moratorium. 

However, where Congress was silent, the CDC stepped in. Each time a new deadline approached, the CDC would extend the order unilaterally. 

Predictably, this did not go unnoticed by Landlords and their associated groups. Many challenges were brought against the CDC’s Eviction Moratorium in the Courts.

Eventually, one of these challenges wound its way to the Supreme Court in Alabama Association of Realtors, et al. V. Department of Health and Human Services, et al., 2021 WL 1946376 (May 14, 2021)


As summarized by the Supreme Court, Alabama Ass’n of Realtors v. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs. arose whe

“Realtor associations and rental property managers in Alabama and Georgia sued to enjoin the CDC’s moratorium. The U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the plaintiffs motion for summary judgment, holding that the CDC lacked statutory authority to impose the moratorium.”

While a significant number of courts throughout the nation had previously found that the CDC overstepped its bounds with the Eviction Moratorium, the District Court’s order went further. The Court summarized its ruling as follows, 


“the question for the Court is a narrow one: Does the Public Health Service Act grant the CDC the legal authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium?  It does not.  Because the plain language of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. § 264(a), unambiguously forecloses the nationwide eviction moratorium, the Court must set aside the CDC Order, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, see 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(C), and D.C. Circuit precedent, see National Mining Ass’n, 145 F.3d at 1409.” 


Through this order, the District Court nullified the CDC’s Eviction Moratorium at a nationwide level.  Unsurprisingly, the above ruling was appealed, and the Court stayed its order pending the appeal of the Dept. of Health and Human Servs. When the D.C. Circuit Court did not vacate the stay, the dispute was brought before the Supreme Court.

On June 29, 2021, the Supreme Court denied the application to vacate the stay imposed on the District Court’s order on a 5-4 vote, with Justice Kavanaugh casting the deciding vote.

However, Justice Kavanaugh’s concurrence to the order explained that he was only siding with the majority on this because the CDC’s moratorium was set to end on July 31, 2021 and that a few weeks would “allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds.” On the merits, he stated “I agree with the District Court and the applicants that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded its existing statutory authority by issuing a nationwide eviction moratorium,” and that in his view, clear and specific congressional authorization would be necessary for any further extensions of the Moratorium.

This concurrence was meant as a signal to the other two branches of government. For the executive, it was a clear warning that if the CDC again unilaterally extended the Eviction Moratorium, the Court would strike it down. For the Legislature, it was a statement that only Congress could extend or continue this nationwide eviction moratorium.

However, Congress failed to pass any laws or orders that would extend the CDC’s Eviction Moratorium or impose a new national Eviction Moratorium. As such, the Order lapsed on July 31, 2021. 

In the absence of any action by the Legislature, the CDC, with full warning of the potential consequences, reinstated the Eviction Moratorium extending its protections until October 3, 2021. 

In response, the Plaintiffs in Alabama Association of Realtors, et al. filed an emergency application with the District Court to vacate the stay currently in place. 

Within the space of a few weeks, Plaintiff’s application of was again in front of the Supreme Court. 

Up next:



Prenuptial Agreements: The Facts & The Fiction!

Do you believe in this statement:

“Prenuptial agreements are reserved for the rich”?

Or perhaps this remark:

“Do you really trust your spouse if you want him/her to sign a prenuptial agreement?”

Or our personal favorite:

“I barely have any money or assets, so I don’t need a prenuptial agreement”.

If you do in fact believe these three aforementioned quoted sentences above, you may have been incorrectly informed as to the true potential effects of prenuptial agreements, commonly referred to as “pre nups”. Let us provide you with a full guide to the truths and lies of prenups.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

First and foremost, what exactly is a prenuptial agreement?

Such an agreement is a written contract executed between a soon to be married couple that designates what shall happen to each spouse’s finances and assets during and after the marriage. Pre nups are a neat way of essentially “creating the laws of your marriage” to govern your finances and assets.

To better understand the intricacies of pre nups, let’s play the classic childhood game, 2 truths and a lie:

  1. Statement 1: Almost all marriages end happily ever after.
  2. Statement 2: Pre nups can be romantic.
  3. Statement 3: Pre nups are available to all couples, regardless of their individual or joint income classes.

Did you spot the lie? Here is a closer look into which statements are true and which are false.

Statement 1: “Almost all marriages end happily ever after.” FALSE


We hope you spotted this lie. It is quite common for a marriage to end in divorce. In fact, the CDC estimates that 746, 971 divorces occurred in the US in 2019 alone! But that’s common knowledge because everyone knows that divorces happen all the time!

If you truly believe however that divorces happen all the time, then create a prenup.

A pre nup acts similarly to a “Last Will & Testament” in that it avoids your assets and finances from following state law. If your assets and finances follow state law, then your personal wishes will be disregarded. Thus, avoid the dreaded divorce arguments that will separate you and your ex-spouse more than you need to be and create a pre nup that will handle your divorce for you.




Statement 2: Pre nups can be romantic. TRUTH

Believe it or not, a pre nup can help strengthen your marriage. A pre nup forces you to talk about your finances, your assets, your spouse’s assets, and your individual expectations of the financial aspects of your marriage. Avoid a lack of trust in your relationship, and build communication, transparency, and confidence. What can be more romantic than that? Many engaged couples enter marriage completely oblivious to the laws of marriage, failing to understand important concepts like spousal support, community property, separate property, child support and more. There’s nothing romantic about flying blind, and it certainly doesn’t set your marriage up for success.  Be smart, be informed. Now that’s romantic.

Statement 3: Pre nups are available to all couples, regardless of their individual or joint income classes.  TRUTH

Yes, it’s true. Pre nups are not just for the rich. Any and every engaged couple could and should have a prenuptial agreement. If you or your spouse don’t necessarily have large assets or a lot of money, that is futile. Pre nups don’t require wealthy couples with immense assets and colossal bank accounts to be effective. If you and your partner are a couple looking to build trust in their relationship, then a prenuptial agreement may be right for you.

For example, a couple of modest means can create a pre nup to plan for the future. If a couple plans to buy a house a few years into their marriage, or perhaps is in line for a new high paying job after school during their marriage, a prenuptial agreement is crucial to handling the division of that large influx of income.

Statement 4: Pre nups are only for the young. FALSE

We see as many older couples, even those starting second or third marriages using this important tool to ensure a successful marriage. In fact, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers even assails, at length, the benefits of premarital contracts for elderly couples. To be sure, with elderly couples, the issues around real estate, spousal support, familial obligations, estate planning and more can be infinitely more complicated. For these reasons and more, we’d argue that elderly couples should think even MORE carefully about utilizing this important tool to insure a healthy, happy and peaceful marriage.

                               START YOUR PRE NUP HERE

Learn more about PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS,                  Download our eBook for FREE!

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Share your experiences with us! Tell us about how you created a pre nup and how it affected your marriage. We love to hear success stories from all over the globe.

The best advice you’ll ever get for starting a business

                                                 About the Author

Dov S. Rosen is a JUSTLAW network attorney who represents private and publicly-traded companies in negotiating mergers, acquisitions, private placements,  IPOs, and commercial contracts.  He also has an active practice negotiating commercial real estate loans,  property acquisitions, and commercial leases.                   

Dov graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 2011 and, in 2020, founded The Law Offices of Dov S. Rosen. 

He can be reached at [email protected]

(This article is the first in a multi-part series. Stay tuned to The Verdict for the next installments!)

You’ve got a winning idea. You have a business plan set up. Maybe you even have some investors lined up.

Congratulations – you’re on your way to starting your own business.

What’s next?

Part I: Cash 101

Cash is the lifeline of any business. And the key question for your business is how that cash flows in and how it may be expected to flow out. This leads us to the first big choices your business will make: how to raise money, whom to raise it from, and what to give up in return.


Early-stage startup investors will often include family and friends, “angel” investors (generally, high-net-worth individuals who are willing to invest in early-stage companies in exchange for preferred equity), and – for particularly promising new companies – venture capital firms. Nowadays, crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe are also becoming increasingly popular for early-stage companies (we will explore the advantages and limitations of crowdfunding in a later installment). For startups later in their business lifecycle, institutional investors may play a greater role, and for more advanced companies the public equity markets may become relevant.


Each of these investors will have different expectations about what they will receive in return for their money. Typical forms of startup capital include common equity, preferred equity (often with the right to convert to common at a later time), and convertible debt (debt with a right to convert to equity at a later time). Other equity structures like simple agreements for future equity, or “SAFEs”, offer distinct advantages and disadvantages and are becoming more common. And for many businesses, business loans (including SBA loans for qualified borrowers) are a good option for providing initial capital – but with their own advantages and disadvantages. We will discuss these various types of startup capital later in our series.


A note on securities laws:

Our focus is on early-stage startups engaging in private offerings that are exempt from registration with the SEC or other state regulatory commissions. Securities laws are not just for public companies – any company that issues equity to raise money is potentially subject to them and must fall within an exemption avoid registration and reporting requirements. In later parts of this series, we will speak about the various exemptions from securities laws and

how to make sure you stay within the rules throughout your business lifecycle.


Cash will almost always come at a cost. To make your idea a reality, you will inevitably have to trade a piece of ownership over the idea you have created and often a degree of control over the business you are building. But that does not mean all equity raises will have the same impact on the future of your business. The choices you make early on can determine the evolution of your business for years to come, preserving your flexibility and a large degree of your control. Conversely, a sub-optimal equity structure, poor entity choice, or improperly drafted company agreement can hamstring your ability to raise cash, leave you stuck with a bad partner, and even cost you the control you need to make your business grow.


But making necessary trade-offs is a natural part of the growth cycle of every business. The key is to establish clear expectations and to structure investments in a way that respects the needs of investors while preserving your ability to grow the business. The trade-offs you will have to make will generally come in the following areas: keeping cash in the business, keeping the flexibility to raise more cash, and keeping control over business decisions