The New York Times recently reported on a new frontier in relationships: prenuptial agreements for those who cohabitate but don’t marry, so-called “no-nups.” Twin Cities attorney Jason Brown, whose firm specializes in divorce and family law, says this is a good idea. “Statistically more and more couples are cohabitating,” he says. “And absent some form of agreement to the contrary, the law disfavors people who live together in terms of how their stuff is divided once the relationship is over.”
It’s enough to make you think: Should you be setting the terms of other relationships in your life, in case things go wrong?
Both parties shall agree to maintain cordial relations as long as: barista agrees to remember regular coffee order; customer agrees not to mistake friendly eye contact for romantic interest.
Deal Breakers: lack of tipping, insufficient room for cream
Parties agree to maintain customer-mechanic relationship as long as mechanic agrees not to discuss car repair in terms that would make a nuclear physicist weep in confusion, or run garage full of such filth and despair that the orcs in Lord of the Rings would protest conditions. Customer shall change oil more than once every five years, refrain from emitting more than five (5) sailor-worthy swear words upon seeing bill.
Deal Breakers: bad credit, butt crack
Dentist and patient will maintain arrangement with the expectation of last-minute pre-appointment flossing by patient along with confused protestations about gum recession and blatant falsehoods about regularity of dental hygiene regime. Dentist shall not burst out in sardonic laughter when told that patient “flosses almost every day.”
Deal Breakers: that thing that sounds like a belt sander, falafel for lunch before appointment
Both parties shall remain in relationship under the conditions that: feedings occur no less than one (1) hour from agreed upon times, and walks shall include at least five (5) opportunities to sniff foliage and/or mark terrain as Bowser sees fit. In return, canine companion shall: refrain from ingesting human clothing, including (but not limited to) socks, underwear, and footwear; allow human one (1) hour extra sleep on two (2) days per week that she does not leave for mysterious and unknowable destination for nine (9) hours at a time.
Deal Breakers: deliberate indoor body functions, that boyfriend who smells like beer
Parties agree to maintain regular if awkward contact during circumstances including toilet training, adolescence, and adult joblessness. Children agree to refrain from comment about parent’s physical appearance, musical taste, speech patterns. Adult agrees to supplement personal judgments with no more than three (3) threats per year of discontinued material support, bodily harm, or termination of parentage. Major conflicts requiring third-party arbitration (sibling, other parent) binding.
Deal Breakers: inability to recognize child’s passage into adulthood a decade ago, more than one (1) week per year spent in parents’ domicile after age 30