Five Tips for Effecting a Legislative Change

It's all too easy to feel that the lawmakers are calling the shots, and all we can do is ride out the decisions they make. However, often it's down to the people on the ground, working hard to lobby for a cause and gain support, to catalyze changes.

As a member of your community, business, organization, action group or any combination of the above, lobbying for legislative change can be an effective way to gain support for your cause and work with policy makers to bring about real changes that matter to you. Here are five tips to help you on your path to effective a legislative change.

1. Know Your Topic

A sound working knowledge of the topic at hand will help you when it comes to meeting with policy makers or local representatives, reaching out to your local community for support, and talking to the media. Make sure you know your issue inside out, including current laws surrounding it. Gather plenty of facts and figures to back up your case.

2. Get To Know Your Local Legislators

Take any opportunity you can to get to know your local legislators. Whether they're on the campaign trail, fundraising, or attending a local event, take the time to introduce yourself and get to know them. This will serve you well in two ways. First, when it comes to tackling a change in the law, they'll already be familiar with you. Second, you'll get to know their interests and goals, which means you can communicate with them more effectively.

3. Increase Your Political Awareness

The stronger your political awareness, the better. Set out to learn all you can about the political process, especially as pertains to your local area and your topic of interest. Find out what it takes to bring about a change in the law. Who can suggest or write a new bill? How do you go about finding a sponsor? Where can you weigh in on an issue? How do you make contact with the right people? The more you know about your local political landscape, the better.

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Marriage and Law

Marriage is a legally sanctioned contractual agreement between a man and a woman. In legal terms, marriage is defined as a legal status that results from a contract made in due form of law according to which a man and woman who have the capability to get into such an agreement, mutually promise to live with each other during their joint lives as husband and wife.

In the U.S., marriage is regulated by the states. Traditionally, the partners bonded by the institution of marriage rarely separated over marital issues as compared to now where we see so many couples parting ways over minor marital disputes. It is one of the reasons the concept of a prenuptial agreement has now come into being. In the case of a divorce without a prenuptial agreement, the property gets divided equitably between the two partners, based on the Equitable Distribution Law.

A prenuptial agreement is a written agreement between two people entering marriage setting out the terms regarding the ownership of their respective assets, in case the marriage fails. A prenuptial agreement usually discusses the division and ownership of property, division and ownership of debts, inheritance of property and spousal support.

In the U.S., there are five main elements that are required for valid prenuptial agreement. First, the agreement should be in writing. Second, it must be executed voluntarily. Thirdly, it should be a full and/or fair disclosure at the time of execution. The agreement cannot be unconscionable and finally it must be executed by both the parties before a notary public.

Depending on the state in which the couple lives, there is a difference between what is considered as separate and marital property. In some states, a prenuptial agreement can state that in case of a divorce each partner will relinquish his or her rights to any inheritance or major gift given to the other spouse before or during the marriage.

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