Book Review: I Do, You Do, But Just Sign Here 1

A Quick Guide to Cohabitation, Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

“Let’s move in together.”

In today’s society, these words are spoken more and more as a growing number of couples choose cohabitation instead of marriage . This might be a temporary arrangement – the first step in a relationship that seems to be heading toward “I Do” or it may be that the couple has no intention to marry, even though they may live together for the next 50 years.

Regardless of how you and your partner came to the decision, the fact remains that you’re entering a new stage of your life, both physically, emotionally and, most certainly, financially.Where before your possessions could be divided into his and hers, now there’s “ours” and that can make things tricky if the relationship should ever end. To avoid this dilemma, many couples now choose to create a written agreement documenting how the finances and assets will be handled in the event of a breakup.

But where do you start? What should go into this type of document?

In I Do, You Do, But Just Sign Here, Scott Weston and Robert Nachshin walk you through the financial ins and outs of living together. Dubbed “The Quick And Easy Guide to Cohabitation, Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements”, this handy little book shows you how to draft a “living together” agreement, no matter what your personal circumstances might be.

“In our practice over the years, we have watched clients lose a great deal to their exes because the waters were murky. We had one client who had little equity in his home, yet it was his home. When he and his significant other split up, she claimed she had invested considerably in the property by using her salary and savings to provide improvements and upgrades to the house… Since nothing was in writing, the judge gave her an equal share in the house,” note the authors.

And this is a common occurrence.

Any time two people enter into a relationship, there is the potential for some of those “murky waters”. Both parties enter the relationship with their own set of things, some of which are easily separated and some of which are not. Personal items are sometimes converted to mutual property, either directly or indirectly and it’s not until the parties decide to split that they realize there’s a disagreement about who owns what.

But in I Do, You Do, But Just Sign Here, you can learn how to best address these issues before they become a problem, no matter what stage of the relationship you’re in.

Focusing on cohabitation agreements as well as prenuptial and postnuptial agreements , I Do, You Do is an easy and informative read that shows you how to separate your lives on paper. Complete with a section for Domestic Partners, I Do, You Do offers numerous case studies and the aftermath that followed as well as snippets and samples of different types of agreements that you can use to draft your own.

You’ll learn how to enter into a postnuptial contract after the wedding and how to handle the meeting between you, your partner and your attorneys. Are there things you need to know before you sign a prenup? You bet, and this book points them out. If you’re rich or famous, there are some extra things you should consider and fortunately, Weston and Nachshin include them here.

At 162 pages, I Do, You Do is a concise and invaluable guide for every couple at every stage of their relationship.

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Discussion

  • augustt

    I am currently cohabitating in California and have been for almost 3 years. We currently have a 2 year old and one baby on the way. Now that we are engaged he wants me to sign a prenup, which is quite harsh (according to my lawyer who reviewed it). My lawyer says that with what he is proposing I am almost better off not getting married and signing the prenup that looks only to benefit him. I am a college graduate and worked before we got pregnant, but since then I have been a stay at home Mom, maid, cook etc of the house. He is the currently paying for everything, and provider of the house. What are my rights if we dont decide to get married in the event we split up. Will I be left in the streets? Please help