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Everything posted by Cammie

  1. I would guess that the lawyer is saying they can "make a claim." That is a far cry from "they are entitled to receive those items." Your initial understanding is generally correct. When a person dies and leave everything to the spouse - it passes ALL rights to the spouse to do what they want with the property. If that person then dies leaving everything to their spouse....again it passes ALL rights to the spouse. However, someone can ALWAYS attempt to contest a will or file a claim. All it does is make the whole process more expensive and more complicated.
  2. Take it from me...in the end only the lawyers win.
  3. No need for me to retype when everything has already been said by Barb! Wait...until you can handle the possible drama. Wait....until you have moved out (so your father doesn't have a heart attack.) And I advocate waiting on marriage...I think a too early marriage is more destructive than too early sex!
  4. Major cultural disconnect here! For my Dh and his family the expectation is VERY much that we will take care of elderly parents and our kids will take care of us. It is ingrained and a regular part of conversations about the future. I have to say, I greatly appreciate that if and when the time comes for me to take care of my parents I know Dh will completely be in agreement with having them with us. I also appreciate that my kids don't look at growing up without also thinking about the responsibilities we all have towards each other. That is how we view being part of a family unit.
  5. Just wanted to warn against the overgeneralization of "Indians don't want daughters." While it is very true in certain parts of India (as demonstrated by horribly skewed birth rates in certain regions) it is by no means something that exists as a rule for the entire sub-continent. Too many different cultures, sub-groups, etc. for there to be one standard rule. My ILs for example, wanted girl grandchildren first. They treat both my children equally. They are traditional, middle-class Indians. But with a preference for girls to be born. The dowry issue is also complicated. Traditionally, girls couldn't inherit from their birth families after they married. Dowry was a way to pass on a percentage of their inheritance to them at the time of marriage. Unfortunately, it has morphed and taken on many uglier sides. (BTW, dowry is illegal in India and has been for a long time. It still is prevalent however.) In poorer families, one primary reason to prefer a son to a daughter is the sheer cost of a marriage of a daughter that is to be born entirely by her family. Families of sons act like they won the lottery when it is time for their son to be married - and they make sky high demands. It is tragic to see what lengths poor families go to when trying to get their daughter married into a "good" family.
  6. You can also check and see if there is a Democrats Abroad group near you (I assume the Republicans have the same although I haven't seen an active chapter here in Bangalore.) They can help you register no matter your party affiliation!
  7. I wonder how people think divorce attorneys should be paid? In my state you cannot take a divorce on a contingent basis (getting a percentage of the "winnings") like you can a personal injury case. A lawyer cannot also lend money or get financially entangled with a client. A hefty up front retainer makes sure that the lawyer is compensated, and makes sure the client knows the cost of the battles they want to wage. Often the party with greater income can be required to pay the other party's attorney fees at the end of the divorce. I cannot even begin to tell you how many cases I have been a part of that was the lawyer collecting fees owed from divorce clients.
  8. I haven't read all the replies but as a former divorce attorney I thought I would weigh in. Yes, for the most part a spouse who was not working outside of the home during the marriage (for whatever reason) is going to be in a worse position financially than the spouse who spent the last 10-20 years building up a career. The state I practiced in had ways to address that. First, it is a requirement that the contributions of the homemaker be considered equal to the contributions of the working party. Unless the working party could prove that the person not-working did NOTHING at home....the contribution would be seen as equal. Therefore, for the most part, all assets are equally the property of both parties. My state also still has spousal support (alimony) and the amount and duration could very depending on a wide variety of factors. We have three types - a short term alimony just until the spouse can finish some education or job training. A compensatory alimony to make up for contributions to the other parties education/income that the stay at home spouse made. And long term alimony given usually at the end of long marriages that should try to alieate the disparity in the standard of living of the parties before and after the divorce. My state also allows, in the end, for the court to make a division of assets and awards that is equitable/fair to both the parties. In my time as a divorce attorney I rarely had clients who felt they won a jackpot. I also rarely had clients who really had been mistreated by the court. Everyone is unhappy after a divorce and everyone thinks they should have gotten more and the other party should have received nothing. I don't think the family court system is perfect - FAR from it. I do think that the courts, when faced with really horrible situations and two people who can't reach an agreement on their own assets, for the most part do an ok job.
  9. Timely as tomorrow is Republic Day in India and that poem will be read out by children all over the country at events big and small!
  10. Make sure that he is required to have life insurance on his life with you as a beneficiary. This is to insure the alimony payments. Yes, after 27 years you should ask for life long alimony - especially given the disparity in incomes. Definately don't do anything until a lawyer with a strong background in divorce has reviewed the financials. Are you sure there is no child support for the daughters? Some states will extend child support "for a child attending school." You should check.
  11. Midsommer Murders is my absolute favorite. Also love Miss Fischer. Someone mentioned Jonathan Creek which is also great - he is a guy who designs magic tricks for a magician who uses his knowledge to solve mysteries - very different.
  12. From what I know about surrogacy in India...this doesn't sound at all likely. Women who are surrogates are doing it because they need the MONEY not because they want a baby. I do believe that they may be required to stay in a location to ensure proper pre-natal care, doctors appointments, etc. I guess women who agree to become surrogates are doing it because they are desparate for the money and they are willing to live like that for a few months. I'm not saying it is right or wrong - just that I understand both sides of it.
  13. Etsy has some great charm bracelent makers. I got my daugher a SuperWhoLock charm bracelet! She loved it!
  14. Model good behavoir. Tell her you love her. That's it. She will have to take control of her food, exercise, etc. in order for it to be part of her lifestyle. Pepare the fruits and veggies - keep them ready in the fridge. I don't think any good can come out of any focus on weight at this age at all.
  15. If you are going to do it...do it after Christmas this year. The discounts on fake trees are HUGE after Chistmas - and they are pricey products.
  16. Something is wrong in this world. I don't know what it is. The pure evil of shooting up a school, a kindergarten, a holiday party is beyond my comprehension. The only think I do know is that when evil like this is so common in a society, it is our responsibility to make sure that it is difficult for evil to get the tools it needs to create the carnage it wants to create.
  17. Miracle on 34th Street - the original version. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.
  18. What about ethical - Ben & Jerry's - at least before they sold out?
  19. For not so ethical my vote goes to Nestle or Volkswagon.
  20. You need to adjust the expectations of everyone. YOU need to sit and enjoy and chat. Then you need to get everyone cleaning TOGETHER. It is true that most people would happily sit back if someone else is doing the work. You need to step back and let them know that everyone needs to do their share.
  21. Yup - pretty much no secrets here up until they are old enough to distinquish between a good secret and a bad secret. I think this was a talking point around childhood abuse. Many abusers convince young children to keep the abuse a secret. Telling kids they can't have secrets from their parents at a young age would hopefully help the child reveal anything that was going on with them.
  22. I choose to believe that the people who believe in the theory of cultural appropriation do it from a place of very good intentions. I do understand a desire to be respectful of everyone's opinions and of the right of each person to express those opinions. This is how cultural appropriation is defined in Wikipedia (I know not the most scholarly of sources...) I did find it very helpful to help me understand what the objections are that make up the cultural appropriation concept. Cultural appropriation, or cultural misappropriation[3] is a sociological concept which views the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture as a largely negative phenomenon.[4] Generally, an assumption that the culture being borrowed from is also being oppressed by the culture doing the borrowing is prerequisite to the concept.[3] This view of cultural borrowing is controversial, both in academic circles, and in general society. According to proponents of the concept of cultural appropriation, such cultural borrowings are problematic for a variety of reasons, ranging from group identity, and questions of cultural oppression, to claims of intellectual property rights. Cultural (mis)appropriation differs from acculturation or assimilation in that the "appropriation" or "misappropriation" refers to the adoption of these cultural elements in a colonial manner: elements are copied from a minority culture by members of the dominant culture, and these elements are used outside of their original cultural context – sometimes even against the expressed, stated wishes of representatives of the originating culture.[1][5][6][7][8][9] Often, in the process, the original meaning of these cultural elements is distorted; such uses can be viewed as disrespectful by members of the originating culture, or even as a form of desecration. Cultural elements, which may have deep meaning to the original culture, can be reduced to "exotic" fashion by those from the dominant culture.[1][5][10] When this is done, the imitator, "who does not experience that oppression is able to 'play,' temporarily, an 'exotic' other, without experiencing any of the daily discriminations faced by other cultures."[10] In North America, concepts of cultural appropriation are particularly prominent in Native American studies, and in studies of Black (American) culture. It is also current in certain circles of fashion criticism. For one - I don't believe the borrowing of cultural elements is a "largely negative phenomenon." Second - I'm not sure I buy the dominant and oppressed cultural dichotomy. History is too long and changes too many for that label to be slapped on any group. For example, is a once colonized culture always going to be the "oppressed culture?" I don't think so. This does fit right in with what I said above about this being more about respect and intention. Yes, I get that cultural elements that have deep meaning in one culture may be used in a disrespectful way by someone...but then it is about respect again. Anyways, it is an interesting idea but one that I feel is not quite fully formed at the moment. ​
  23. This is when it is easier to live far far away. My parents divorced 15 years ago. Dad is remarried to the suspected girlfriend. Dad and wife live in the gorgeous big house that my mother had to move out of. The whole thing is painful but like the good New Englanders we are...everyone sucks it up. No drama. No emotion. A pleasant little get together and then home. Divorce does suck.
  24. Sadie - you are right, we are usually on the same side of issues on the forum. I simply cannot even begin to fathom how I would navigate these questions of cultural appropriation in my own life. If I wear a sari and a bindi (as I do often) to a wedding here - everyone loves it - lots of compliments. My in-laws love me to wear traditional clothes. The shopkeepers seem very happy to sell me traditional clothes. I get more respect on the street (and better prices) when I am in traditional clothes. Now, if one person felt I had inappropriately appropriated Indian culture and were upset seeing a white women wearing Indian clothes what should I do about that? Does it become cultural appropriation because one person from the originating culture doesn't think I have a right to wear a sari? That they didn't think it respectful for a non-Hindu to wear a bindi? Or because one person doesn't like to see a white woman with a nose ring? Or because one person doesn't like to see my brother in dreadlocks? This idea that culture BELONGS exclusively to one set of people really doesn't sit well with me or my experiences in the world. And actually it starts to feel a little bit like cultural exclusion. And how do we even start to define "culture" in the multi-ethnic world most of us live in? I prefer the world I grew up in where most people were Peace Corps returned volunteers and their apartments were draped with fabrics from around the world, and we listened to music from everywhere and people love and appreciated cultural activities from around the world and adapted some of them into their own lives. The world I would like to live in is one where we can all share the best of our own respective backgrounds and have them acknowledged and shared by others.
  25. Honestly, saying you can never do something or wear something or use something that another culture used first...is patently ridiculous. Cultures have been borrowing from each other since the beginning of time. That is how we have grown and developed. It is just that when you do that...you should do it with love and respect. This is not about "cultural appropriation" this is about dignity.
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