Parting Ways With Your Partner – What You Need To Know

No two marriages are the same, so it stands to reason that no two divorces are the same. The way property is divided in a divorce is mandated by the laws of the state in which the couple live.

However, some property does not easily fit into neat little boxes. How is it determined who “owns” finances after the divorce

Parting Ways With Your Partner - What You Need To Know

What if the intellectual property predates the marriage?

Can the spouse claim ownership due to their influence of their partners creativity while they were together?

Sometimes the lines of ownership of any kind of property are blurred. It takes the skills of a qualified attorney  to define the division in a way that is fair to all parties. We are going to attempt to put this information in language that anyone can understand.

Please do not assume this covers all examples and exceptions, as that would not be possible. Please contact your attorney to discuss your individual case.

Marital Property

Generally speaking, anything that was received or purchased during the marriage belongs to both spouses.

This means if the property or funds were acquired while you were together and they were not individual gifts or inheritances, they belong equally to each spouse. There are exceptions to this rule.

These exceptions usually occur when a gift or money from property and accounts become commingled. Generally, when blended with marital funds, they become community property.  If money or property were brought into the marriage and kept separate during the marriage, it is usually not community property.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind. Artist, writers, songwriters, designers and many other creative people create intellectual property. This is one of the most complicated of divorce divisions. In its simplest form, it breaks down this way:

If the work was done that created the intellectual property took place before the marriage, it is usual for it to remain the property of the creator. This remains true, even if the copyright is obtained shortly after the marriage took place.

The actual creation was prior marriage. However, if the effort was expended to create the intellectual property after the marriage took  place, it is marital property and the interests in the property are owned equally by each spouse.

However, it is rarely that easy to determine ownership of intellectual property. Other considerations that the courts will weigh are:

  • Were marital funds used to develop, market, and patent the property?  
  • Did each spouse put effort into the growth and/or promotion of the “product”?
  • Is the intellectual property complete?

Even more confusion

There are times with the intellectual property is incomplete and as such, not earning money yet. If the item was designed prior to the marriage but has not yet been marketed, will the former spouse own any of the rights when the property is marketed?

What if a person has written a book, or produced a film during the marriage, which is successful and ruled to belong to each of the spouses, and they are in the process of producing the sequel? Will the spouse own any of the rights to the next book or film which will be marketed after the divorce? Where does the intellectual property ownership end?

These are just a few examples of the issues family law attorneys face every day, the state laws, courts, and prior factors have a huge impact on the outcomes of these situations, in any divorce, there are sensitive areas.

When it comes to the creative powers of a person, it becomes very personal. This is not something you can address alone. Contact your attorney for help.

Why You Should Have a Mad Money Account

There’s no doubting that you need to have a solid budget in place so that you can strengthen and maintain your financial and mental health. That being said, it’s also best to invest in enjoying all the hard work you put into earning your income while comparing rates with local insurance agents. Learn why you should have a mad money account for those times when you want to buy a little something for yourself. 

What Is Mad Money?

Simply put, mad money is money socked away for impulse purchases and minor expenses. This differs from an emergency fund, which is often solely for things like medical emergencies, the sudden loss of a job and car repairs. You might be hesitant to open yet another account with your bank, but you’re sure to enjoy the feeling of knowing that all your other bills and financial obligations are taken care of when you’re thinking about a fancy dinner, buying a book or anything else you like to do to treat yourself.

Give Your Budgeting Some Incentive

You put a lot of hard work and thought into carving out the perfect budget, making small sacrifices here and there and deciding which expenses you can do without. Having that much discipline is great, but it can drain away at your spontaneity, which robs you of the total satisfaction of being a pro at budgeting.

By setting up a mad money account, you give yourself even more of a reason to tighten your budget and take care of your debt, so you have even more money to spend on yourself and the things you enjoy. Everything needs to be balanced in life, including how much you save and how much you spend.

Get Rid of the Stress That Comes With Finances

For all its benefits, worrying about whether you’re doing a good job of sticking to your budget can add a degree of stress, the very stress you wanted to address when you initially created your budget. Allowing yourself room to splurge every now and then can unbottle that worry without having it lead to more. You can buy a cup of coffee or go to the movies and not feel guilty about your other financial needs going unmet, because you purposefully set aside that money specifically for coffee and the movies.

Getting Creative With How You Splurge

Another reason to have a mad money account is for the creativity it can spark in you. For instance, rather than going out to a restaurant for a nice meal or hopping online to order a new book, you can use your mad money to make yourself a nice meal, which could cost less than eating out at a restaurant. You can also visit a local independent bookstore to buy a new book, which helps support your local community and your local economy, something you’re sure to feel good about.

While you’re figuring out your monthly bills, don’t forget to make room for a bit of financial fun. Despite the name, your mad money is sure to bring a smile to your face.

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Dave’s Carrot Cake

This is our first Guest Post and Jared has graciously allowed us to share his famous “Dave’s Carrot Cake“recipe, if you try it we would love to hear your comments on guest posts. 
 Visit his website as well.
Thank you Jarred
Original Post April 23, 2013 Reposted May 2, 2018

About Jared

My name is Jared, and I’m still not entirely sure how I ended up living in paradise.
My partner ‘Rick’ and I (he’s shy, so that’s not his real name) are two American city boys who moved to rural New Zealand in 2006. We live on 20 acres just outside the charming wine and olive village of Martinborough, at the bottom of the North Island.

It’s a little different from where I grew up, which was the suburbs outside Detroit. I used to stay out till 5am dancing at clubs downtown, where we were frisked at the door for guns and knives. Now I get up at 5am to do yoga, write, and feed the chickens. Go figure.

carrot-cake-close-up Moon Over Martinbrough
“Dave’s Carrot Cake”

2 cups flour (For gluten free, replace flour with gluten free baking mix. I use Bakels.)
2 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 cups cooking oil (I use canola.)
4 eggs
3 cups carrots, finely grated
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Sift dry ingredients together. Add oil, stirring constantly.
Add remaining ingredients and mix.
Place in two round springform pans. Bake at 350 °F / 175 °C for 45 minutes.

1 package cream cheese (8 oz / 250 g)
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 pound of icing sugar! (16 0z = 453 g)

Jared blogs at Moon Over Martinborough   Link updated
Would you like to be a guest for a favorite recipe and share your blog,
Fill out this form Guest Writer 

The Worst Habits For Your Health

Health Habits

Everyone has some kind of vice; everyone does something that they shouldn’t do, or that they shouldn’t do as much. Yet we keep on, even if we know what we’re doing is bad for our health, because these things quickly and easily become a habit. Here are some of the worst habits we can have when it comes to keeping healthy, and how to stop them if possible.

Watching TV

Watching TV is a great way to unwind at the end of the day, but too much of it can cause problems including strokes and heart attacks; this is true even if you also regularly exercise. The problem is that sitting for a long time without moving affects the levels of blood sugar and fats within your body.

If you do find that you’re sitting still for long periods of time on a regular basis (whether it’s watching TV or sitting at a desk at work, or for any other reason) then the best advice is to get up every now and then (perhaps once an hour for five minutes or so) and move around. This keeps your circulation flowing more readily. It’s even better if you can do something more active during that time, but you may need to build up to that if you have only just begun.

Not Getting Help

If you keep telling yourself and others that you’re fine even when you’re most definitely not, that can easily become a habit. The words will just come from your mouth before you’ve had time to process the question. Yet if you find that you’re feeling angry, depressed, stressed, or anxious, you’re not fine – you’re unwell and you need to get help. For some, it’s difficult to admit that they have a mental health problem, for others it’s hard to understand that these feelings can be fixed. Yet they can, and they should be.

Make an appointment with your doctor in the first instance. They will be able to talk through your symptoms and refer you on to a specialist if need be.


Snoring isn’t a habit as such, but it is something that we do without realizing and it is something that can have an effect on our health (or rather, snoring is sometimes a symptom of a more serious issue). In some cases, snoring can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea when breathing is interrupted throughout the sleep cycle. Not only will this disrupt your sleeping pattern (leaving you at risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses), but it can make your blood pressure rise dramatically too.

If you are told that you snore – or if you wake yourself up snoring – then don’t brush it off and be embarrassed because it really could be something serious. It’s far better to speak to a doctor about it than to ignore it.

Not Brushing Your Teeth

If brushing your teeth, as well as flossing, seems like a waste of time and you’ve got into the habit of only doing it on special occasions, you could be putting yourself at risk. There is, studies show, a strong relationship between gum disease and heart disease. Although the exact reasons aren’t yet known (studies are ongoing), it is thought that it could be due to the plaque that builds up over time. This is a sticky substance that is packed full of bacteria and it attaches itself to teeth and gums. Regular brushing and flossing will remove it before it can do much damage, but leaving the plaque where it is can cause these bacteria to inflame the body. This inflammation can damage the heart.

If you don’t currently brush your teeth at least twice a day, then you need to get into the habit of doing so. It is better for your overall health, but it will also prevent bad breath and hefty dental bills.

Hiding From The World

There will be days for everyone when it seems far better to hide away from the world than to try to interact with people. Having one of these days every now and then is normal – staying all by yourself to recover and regroup is actually a good idea, and when you do go back out into society you will be all the better for it.

However, it’s when you fail to go back out, or you find that every interaction is something that causes you anxiety, that this becomes a problem. Being with friends and family, even being with strangers to some extent, is good for our health according to studies, and those with a small circle of friends whom they see regularly tend to live longer than those who are more reclusive. Although it can be hard, it’s important to get back out into the world if you can – you’ll have more fun than you think you will.

Drinking Too Much Alcohol

If studies are to be believed (and the advice does change from time to time so be careful), drinking small amounts of alcohol on a regular basis can actually be good for your heart. However, drinking too much is extremely bad for it. Excess alcohol is linked to heart failure, high blood pressure, and high levels of blood fats. Plus there are many calories in alcohol which can lead to massive weight gain. Not only that, but alcohol inhibits our ability to function properly, and this can be dangerous particularly if you drive or operate heavy machinery.

If you feel that you drink too much and you know that you won’t be able to stop, there is professional help available. Visit an alcohol rehab center to completely rid yourself of the habit, as much as possible. It may always be a temptation, but once you’re clean you will find it easier to resist.


When you don’t have much time during the week and your only real chance to exercise is on the weekend, it is extremely easy to overdo things. You can go from one extreme to the other and make yourself unwell by going over the top and trying to do too much in a short amount of time. This can cause injury and make you feel unwell, and then you simply stop exercising completely in case you hurt yourself again. This happens a lot.

The best way to exercise is slow and steady. Even if you don’t have a lot of time during the week, exercising for a little while more regularly is better than going overboard all at once.

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