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The Latest Wedding Trend Is Planning For Your Future Divorce

Why a prenup might be the most romantic step you can take as a young married couple

Laurie Itkin met her husband Dan on Match.com when she was 35 years old. He was 41. After dating for about eight months, they bought a house together in San Diego. They lived together for a few years before Dan decided he wanted Laurie to take a more active role in parenting his 10-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. Laurie was open to the idea, even excited, but didn’t feel comfortable doing so unless they were legally married. They agreed to make it legal, but Laurie had one stipulation: She wanted a prenup.

Prenuptial agreements are famously unromantic financial contingency plans—binding contracts signed before marriage, establishing the property of each spouse should the marriage end in divorce. A prenup stipulates how assets will be divided, what the financial responsibility of each will be, whether one will owe the other alimony, and more. Sometimes, prenups also include behavioral clauses, outlining financial ramifications if, for example, one spouse cheats on the other. Sandra Bullock and Jesse James famously signed a prenup that stated he would get no money if he cheated on her—a fortuitous stroke of foresight on Bullock’s part, as it turned out.


Laurie wanted a prenup to protect her assets. At the age of 24, she received a $1,600 inheritance. That may not sound like much, but Laurie had spent 15 years living below her means building that small nest egg into a $1 million dollar investment portfolio—all before Dan came into the picture.

[quote position="full" is_quote="true"]The thought that I would have to subsidize a man if our marriage didn't work out made me very scared.[/quote]

“I made great sacrifices. I lived like a perpetual college student so I could achieve financial security,” Laurie says. “The thought that I would have to subsidize a man if our marriage didn't work out made me very scared. He didn't share those sacrifices.”

Laurie isn’t alone, either. Prenups are five times more common today than they were 20 years ago. In the immortal words of Kanye West: “If you ain’t no punk/ Holla, ‘We want prenup!” (Though he ain’t saying she’s a gold digger.) The term gold digger implies prenups are something rich men use to protect themselves against women who want their money—and, for women, they are often a signal that their partners don’t trust them. But today’s young people, after seeing many of their parents get divorced, are opting for prenups for much more practical reasons.

Money is still the primary asset divided in prenups, but the tired Kanye narrative that it’s always men protecting their money from women is no longer accurate. These days, 20- and 30-somethings are getting married with more acquired and inherited wealth than previous generations—about $30 trillion dollars from their baby boomer parents—so they want to protect it should something go wrong. While some are inheriting vast amounts of money, others are entering marriage with vast amounts of debt. (Young people owe $1.3 trillion nationwide in student debt.) Some millennials are also entering marriage with shared business interests. And prenups stipulate in advance how shares and stock are to be divided when a couple owns a company together.

Prenups also offer benefits that are more intangible: an assurance that couples are getting married for the right reasons. Though 22-year-old Jenna Shnayerson is not yet married, she already knows she wants a prenup to “completely take money off the table.” Tyler and Lindsey, set to marry next year, agree with this philosophy: They would rather ensure their marriage isn’t about money. “In our minds a prenup doesn’t change anything; we fell in love because we care about each other,” says Tyler.

In the course of their 10-year marriage, Laurie and Dan have found that their prenup has made their relationship more secure. “We've had very few conflicts about money. We have a joint account for household expenses and individual accounts for personal expenses. As a symbolic gesture, he deposits an extra monthly $200 in the joint account, since his daughter lived with us half time (then eventually full time). In return, I funded a 529 college savings account for her.”

As a financial analyst, Laurie recommends prenups for most of today’s young couples. The exercise of documenting all your assets and debts before marriage sets an important foundation for financial intimacy, she explains, and that could help mitigate future fights over money. “If you don't consider a prenup,” she warns, “you are agreeing to comply with your state's law if you get divorced. If you don't like how your state addresses asset division and child and spousal support, then get a prenup.”

Other financial experts agree. Terry Savage, a financial columnist, is pro prenup because it requires transparency around finances: All assets are disclosed and it forces couples to formalize their plans for the future. Experts recommend that couples with real estate or business holdings, significant financial assets, student debt, or the intention to go back to school strongly consider a prenup. But, in the end, it’s all about your comfort level. The ultimate factor in this decision should be whether it feels right to you and your partner.

Money
via Collection of the New-York Historical Society / Wikimedia Commons

Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818. At the age of 10 he was given to the Auld family.

As a child, he worked as a house slave and was able to learn to read and write, and he attempted to teach his fellow slaves the same skills.

At the age of 15, he was given to Thomas Auld, a cruel man who beat and starved his slaves and thwarted any opportunity for them to practice their faith or to learn to read or write.

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Culture
via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

On April 20, 1889 at the Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria Salzburger located at Vorstadt 15, Alois and Klara Hitler brought a son into the world. They named him Adolph.

Little did they know he would grow up to be one of the greatest forces of evil the world has ever known.

The Hitlers moved out of the Braunau am Inn when Adolph was three, but the three-story butter-colored building still stands. It has been the subject of controversy for seven decades.

via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

The building was a meeting place for Nazi loyalists in the 1930s and '40s. After World War II, the building has become an informal pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis and veterans to glorify the murderous dictator.

The building was a thorn in the side to local government and residents to say the least.

RELATED: He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

For years it was owned by Gerlinde Pommer, a descendant of the original owners. The Austrian government made numerous attempts to purchase it from her, but to no avail. The building has served many purposes, a school, a library, and a makeshift museum.

In 1989, a stone from the building was inscribed with:

"For Peace, Freedom

and Democracy.

Never Again Fascism.

Millions of Dead Remind [us]."

via Jo Oh / Wikimedia Commons

For three decades it was home to an organization that offered support and integration assistance for disabled people. But in 2011, the organization vacated the property because Pommer refused to bring it up to code.

RELATED: 'High Castle' producers destroyed every swastika used on the show and the video is oh-so satisfying

In 2017, the fight between the government and Pommer ended with it seizing the property. Authorities said it would get a "thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building."

Now, the government intends to turn it into a police station which will surely deter any neo-Nazis from hanging around the building.

Austria has strict anti-Nazi laws that aim to prohibit any potential Nazi revival. The laws state that anyone who denies, belittles, condones or tries to justify the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity shall be punished with imprisonment for one year up to ten years.

In Austria the anti-Nazi laws are so strict one can go to prison for making the Nazi hand salute or saying "Heil Hitler."

"The future use of the house by the police should send an unmistakable signal that the role of this building as a memorial to the Nazis has been permanently revoked," Austria's IInterior Minister, Wolfgang Peschorn said in a statement.

The house is set to be redesigned following an international architectural competition.

Communities
via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

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Politics
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

Lifestyle

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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