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新视野大学英语 读写教程第三册 unit9-a

时间:2005-12-13 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:1234567890   字体: [ ]

Premarital Agreements
A future husband wanted to be sure that if his marriage didn't work out, he could keep his treasuredice-cream collection safely stored away in a freezer. A woman insisted on verifying who would walk thedog. One man wanted the right to get a divorce if his bride-to-be gained more than 15 pounds once shebecame his wife.
These are some of the crazier clauses of prenuptial agreements. But make no mistake about it, whatmost of them are about is money — and how financial assets will be divided up if a couple divorces. Anddivorce with its accompanying money problems is common in the United States.
Prenuptial agreements — or "prenups" — are designed to address these problems as they arise.
Prenups are negotiated by lawyers for the prospective1 spouses3, and signed before a minister bindsthem in marriage. They have been gaining in acceptance in the United States since the early 1980s,when more states began passing laws that affected5 the division of financial assets in a divorce. The lawsare based either on "community property" (split evenly) or on "reasonable distribution" (whatever ajudge thinks is "fair").
The prenups of the famous make the headlines: lawyers for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis contestedthe prenuptial agreement between her and Aristotle Onassis after his death, reportedly winning $26million in an out-of-court settlement.
But prenuptial agreements are also for lesser6 known, although wealthy folks. "It's because divorcehas such great economic consequences, and successive marriages have become so common," said afamily law lawyer.
A typical candidate for a prenuptial agreement is a man who has accumulated considerable wealth,has already been stung once, and wants to reduce his exposure to future problems. "They want tomake their own arrangements, rather than let a court decide," said the president of the New Yorkchapter of the American Academy of Marriage Lawyers.
Protecting children from a previous marriage is a strong reason for prenuptial contracts. "Someonemay have an estate of $1 billion and he may not want a second spouse2 to get a payment of half a billion.
He may want more for his children," said a lawyer. The effort to shield assets to be passed on tochildren and grandchildren is making prenups more common among retired7 people in their 60s and70s who are remarrying after a spouse has died.
Another situation that calls for premarital agreements occurs when a potential spouse has, or is inline for, great inherited wealth or a family business, especially if the future partner has little or nothingat all.
But even when both parties have signed such an agreement, it can be impossible to enforce it incourt if proper guidelines have not been followed. A lawyer is required to write the document, formistakes in language — even a misplaced preposition — can be disastrous8. But never, ever, warnmarriage law consultants10, should you use the same lawyer as your future spouse does.
Another problem is a prenuptial agreement signed under pressure. To avoid this, some lawyers willnot draw up an agreement once a wedding date has been set. "I figure there's a sword hanging overtheir head, and that's pressure," they said. Such lawyers counsel their clients never to send outwedding invitations until both signatures are on an agreement.
But not everyone takes this advice. A classic example is cited by lawyers: "An agreement is stuckunder somebody's nose on the day of the wedding — and it's usually a 'she' — and she signs, but doesn'teven read it." Another lawyer recalled one awkward episode where the two sides were still editing thecontract, arguing over what to keep and delete, as 150 wedding guests were arriving for the wedding.
When an agreement could not be forged, the wedding was canceled.
A dispute can also break out over prenuptial agreements if a couple decides to divorce while livingabroad, or when they have different passports. A lawyer in a London law firm that often handlesdivorces for British-American couples noted11 that in Britain, prenuptial agreements were "just aboutignored" by the courts because English law says that circumstances of a marriage aren't static, andtherefore a judge should decide how financial assets will be divided.
That can lead to "court-shopping", since what matters is the law of the country where the couple isgetting divorced. He gave the following example: "A wealthy Mr. Ed Smith gets married to Mrs.Smith,and they enter into a New York prenuptial contract. They live in England, and then decide to getdivorced. English lawyers will say to Mrs. Smith, 'No, that contract is not valid,' while Mr.Smith willwant it to be an American case. The issue of where it will be held can greatly multiply the amount oftime required to reach a settlement."Romantic love has no bearing on this process, say these lawyers, who consider prenups to bebusiness agreements. Their justification12: some 50 percent of all marriages in the United States end upon the trash heap.
Moreover, the discussions for a prenuptial agreement, which involve laying bare all one's finances,sometimes save a couple from a terrible marriage. "It sheds light on issues which could later widen andresult in divorce," said a lawyer.
But there is still hope. "Many people sign an agreement, put it in a drawer and never look at itagain," the lawyer added.  

  Words: 902
New Words
■marital a. 婚姻的;夫妻的
premarital a. 婚前的
ice-cream n. 冰淇淋
collection n. 1.收藏品,收集的东西 2.收集,收取
verify vt. 证明,证实,核实
clause n. 1.条款,款项 2.分句,从句
■nuptial a. 婚姻的,结婚的
◆prenuptial a. 结婚前的
bind4 vt. 1.连结,联合,结合 2.捆绑,捆扎 3.迫使,约束
acceptance n. 1.接受,接纳 2.赞同,承认
division n. 1.分开,划分 2.分歧 3.部门
headline n. 标题;新闻提要
contest v. 1.质疑,辩驳 2.争取,争夺;与……竞争
n. 1.竞赛,比赛 2.争夺,竞争
candidate n. 候选人;参加考试者
sting vt. 1.激怒,刺痛 2.刺伤,蛰伤
n. 刺痛,刺伤
exposure n. 暴露,曝光,揭露
chapter n. 1.支部,分会 2.章,回
payment n. 支付的款项
shield vt. 防护,保护,庇护
n. 防护物,护罩,盾(状物)
retire v. 1.(使)退休,(使)退役 2.退下,离开
retired a. 退休了的
enforce vt. 1.使生效,实施,执行 2.强迫,迫使
preposition n. 介词
consultant9 n. 顾问
sword n. 剑
invitation n. 1.邀请;邀请信 2.引诱,诱惑
signature n. 签名;签字
cite vt. 1.引用,引证 2.(军队的)传令嘉奖
awkward a. 1.困窘的,尴尬的 2.难操纵的,使用不便的 3.笨拙的,不灵巧的
edit vt. 编辑,剪辑,校订
delete vt. 删掉,划去(文字)
forge vt. 1.锻造,锤炼;使形成 2.伪造,假冒,仿造
dispute n. 争端,分歧
v. 1.争论,争吵,辩论 2.对……表示异议,反对,辩驳
passport n. 护照
circumstance n. 情形,情况,状况
static a. 静止的,不变的
bearing n. 1.关系,影响 2.举止,姿态 3.方位,方向
▲justification n. 正当的理由
heap n. 1.一堆 2.大量,许多
vt. (使)堆起
shed vt. 1.流出,流下,发出 2.去掉,摆脱 3.脱落,脱去
n. 棚,小屋
drawer n. 抽屉
Phrases and Expressions
work out 发展很好;证明是成功的
store away 收起来,储存,储备
insist on/upon 坚决要求 坚持认为
make no mistake (about sth.) 别弄错了;毫无疑问
gain in 得到更多的……
make/hit the headlines 成为头条新闻
call for 需求,要求
be in line for 即将获得,很可能得到
under pressure 在压力下,在强力下
draw up 写出,制定 (使)停住
send out 发出,寄出
take advice 采纳某人的意见
under sb.'s nose 就在... ...面前
argue over/about 为……争论,争吵
break out 突然开始,爆发 逃离
just about 几乎,非常接近
lead to 导致
enter into sth. 开始讨论;着手处理
have no bearing on 与……无关
end up 结束,告终
lay bare 揭示,说出
shed/throw/cast light on (使)更容易理解
Proper Names
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 杰奎琳·肯尼迪·奥纳西斯
Aristotle Onassis 亚里士多德·奥纳西斯
American Academy of Marriage Lawyers 美国婚姻法律师协会
Ed Smith 艾德·史密斯


1 prospective oR7xB     
  • The story should act as a warning to other prospective buyers.这篇报道应该对其他潜在的购买者起到警示作用。
  • They have all these great activities for prospective freshmen.这会举办各种各样的活动来招待未来的新人。
2 spouse Ah6yK     
  • Her spouse will come to see her on Sunday.她的丈夫星期天要来看她。
  • What is the best way to keep your spouse happy in the marriage?在婚姻中保持配偶幸福的最好方法是什么?
3 spouses 3fbe4097e124d44af1bc18e63e898b65     
n.配偶,夫或妻( spouse的名词复数 )
  • Jobs are available for spouses on campus and in the community. 校园里和社区里有配偶可做的工作。 来自辞典例句
  • An astonishing number of spouses-most particularly in the upper-income brackets-have no close notion of their husbands'paychecks. 相当大一部分妇女——特别在高收入阶层——并不很了解他们丈夫的薪金。 来自辞典例句
4 bind Vt8zi     
  • I will let the waiter bind up the parcel for you.我让服务生帮你把包裹包起来。
  • He wants a shirt that does not bind him.他要一件不使他觉得过紧的衬衫。
5 affected TzUzg0     
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
6 lesser UpxzJL     
  • Kept some of the lesser players out.不让那些次要的球员参加联赛。
  • She has also been affected,but to a lesser degree.她也受到波及,但程度较轻。
7 retired Njhzyv     
  • The old man retired to the country for rest.这位老人下乡休息去了。
  • Many retired people take up gardening as a hobby.许多退休的人都以从事园艺为嗜好。
8 disastrous 2ujx0     
  • The heavy rainstorm caused a disastrous flood.暴雨成灾。
  • Her investment had disastrous consequences.She lost everything she owned.她的投资结果很惨,血本无归。
9 consultant 2v0zp3     
  • He is a consultant on law affairs to the mayor.他是市长的一个法律顾问。
  • Originally,Gar had agreed to come up as a consultant.原来,加尔只答应来充当我们的顾问。
10 consultants c6fbb5ca6219111731f9c4c4d2675810     
顾问( consultant的名词复数 ); 高级顾问医生,会诊医生
  • a firm of management consultants 管理咨询公司
  • There're many consultants in hospital. 医院里有很多会诊医生。
11 noted 5n4zXc     
  • The local hotel is noted for its good table.当地的那家酒店以餐食精美而著称。
  • Jim is noted for arriving late for work.吉姆上班迟到出了名。
12 justification x32xQ     
  • There's no justification for dividing the company into smaller units. 没有理由把公司划分成小单位。
  • In the young there is a justification for this feeling. 在年轻人中有这种感觉是有理由的。
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