Consider a Prenuptial Agreement
by Danielle T. Montalto, Esq.
May 29, 2013 | 4387 views | 9 9 comments | 198 198 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Danielle T. Montalto, Esq. is a Litigation Associate with the Law Offices of Steven K. Meier.
Danielle T. Montalto, Esq. is a Litigation Associate with the Law Offices of Steven K. Meier.
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In today's world, where there is a constant and superfluous need for advanced degrees and the newest technology, millenials all over are planning everything from their gym schedules to their retirement plans with one swift click.

And when these millenials reach the point of considering or entering into marriages, similarly, their Outlook calendars will overflow with appointments to meet financial planners, jewelers, wedding planners and realtors in order to paint the perfect picture for their impending nuptials.

Yet, despite the incessant need to sculpt every aspect of their lives into the perfect mold, one topic of planning remains taboo: planning for divorce.

For most, the concept of planning for a divorce at a time when it seems so natural to be focused on the positive seems somewhat uncivilized. But when considering the legal and financial implications of marriage, proposing the idea of a prenuptial agreement may be nothing more than a practicality.

The concept of contracting marriages is one that dates back over 2,000 years. Although "prenups," as they are best known, are commonly associated with more affluent parties or marriages in which there exists a large income disparity between the parties, in fact the benefit of contracting with regard to separate and marital property prior to marriage affects all walks of life.

With the divorce rate not only rising, but also correlating so strongly with financial climate of a marriage, taking those potential arguments off the table may in fact alleviate certain stresses that plague dual-income couples who are at the prime age for asset development and growth.

To better understand the demise of marriage, as it relates to marital finances, it is first important to understand the complexities of our ever-changing gender roles within society.

According to our most recent census, 93 percent of households in the United States are dual-income households. This means that even if these households are not considered "high net worth," their financial portfolios are likely somewhat complex. The more complex a couple's finances are the more complex (and, in turn, expensive) an eventual divorce becomes.

You see, young professionals in their twenties and thirties who steadily build financial portfolios through pensions, annuities, IRA's and 401K's, are the same individuals who may not completely comprehend the risk of loss in the event of a divorce.

It is likely that because the maturity of these assets may seem a lifetime away, the parties see them as less concrete. However, in the event of a divorce, even where these assets have not yet vested, it is likely that your spouse would be entitled to an ownership interest in those investments.

This means that in the event of a divorce, those assets would be scrutinized, valued and divided pursuant to New York law, rather than the by desires of the parties. This simply leads to high legal fees, personal days to attend court appearances and years (yes, years!) of headaches before your divorce is finalized.

One of my firm's more recent matters involved a dispute over the value of a business started by the husband during the course of the marriage. Despite the fact that the business only brought in a net income of $12,000 per year, the disagreement between the parties forced a judge to order that the business be valued.

The parties are now scrambling to sell personal property in order to pay a forensic accountant, and after the lengthy and costly process, no outcome is certain. The only thing that is for certain is that this couple will spend more money on valuing the business than it will earn them this year.

Gone are the days in which only the rich and famous are in need of a prenuptial agreement. Today, it is important to be proactive. As my mother always says, hindsight is 20/20. However, some mistakes are more detrimental than others.

So, as you plan ahead for your many successes think about the need to plan for the "what ifs." I could go on in detail about all the information I wish the average person knew before getting married (and surely before getting divorced), but for the purposes of this column, I urge you to keep an open mind when it comes to considering a prenuptial agreement. It just may make your marriage stronger.

Comments
(9)
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Chraas
|
July 02, 2013
Well written , its important that young people under stand how serious marriage is and the contract that they are getting themselves into. the younger generation just thinks its something to do not realizing the seriousness of their actions and consequences.
Shocked!!!!!
|
July 02, 2013
Wow, it amazes me that anyone would take advice from such an unethical person. I came to this article looking for guidance, but these words hold no merit. See the previous comment. Ms. Montalto, you should hold yourself to some standards in your own relationship if you are giving other people advice on theirs.
Angry Girlfriend
|
July 01, 2013
I guess people should consider a prenup when they're in a relationship. Especially when it is with someone like you Danielle .. I mean, god forbid you and Eric were married and he found out about all the conversations you were having with *my boyfriend* about him behind his back! ouch. Also that you text NAKED PICTURES of yourself to my boyfriend and whatever other men you have lined up to boost the confidence that you are clearly lacking.

Matthew

Where are my pics 9:50 AM

Danielle Montalto

i went to two gym classes yesterday 9:50 AM

give me a solid 2 weeks so i dont look like chubrock 9:50 AM

Matthew

Lol ok 9:51 AM

Danielle Montalto

i called eric out on the grilling last night 12:25 PM

Matthew

Lol 12:25 PM

What did he say 12:26 PM

Danielle Montalto

nothing notable 12:28 PM

Matthew

Lol 12:28 PM

Danielle Montalto

i was just like dude 12:28 PM

i do well on my own unless you are bringing something to the table 12:28 PM

Matthew

Hahah 12:29 PM

Danielle Montalto

ill keep you around, but just know i do not at all take this situation seriously 12:29 PM

i said those exact words 12:29 PM

Matthew

grilling is not that hard 12:31 PM

Danielle Montalto

no its not 12:32 PM

but 12:32 PM

you know what is? 12:32 PM

Matthew

that he doesnt do it? 12:32 PM

Danielle Montalto

owning a multimillion dollar corporation 12:32 PM

Matthew

hes got no balls 12:32 PM

Danielle Montalto

and i aint got no time 12:32 PM

Matthew

hes not a mans man 12:32 PM

Danielle Montalto

for anyone who isnt making it easier 12:32 PM

Matthew

the rock would not approve of him 12:32 PM

its like if you guys went fishing 12:33 PM

andu could a fish 12:34 PM

would he even take it off the hook for you? 12:34 PM

cought 12:34 PM

Danielle Montalto

well in the first place, i dont think he could even fish 12:35 PM

but surely not 12:35 PM

like if i had a car 12:35 PM

he would not go get it serviced for me 12:35 PM

Matthew

i wouldnt either 12:35 PM

ide service myself 12:35 PM

Danielle Montalto

hahah 12:35 PM

well exactly! 12:35 PM

Matthew

i mean 12:35 PM

i will never pay someone to do something i can do myself 12:36 PM

unless its a murder 12:36 PM

Danielle Montalto

right 12:36 PM

how am i going to find a guy who is like my dad, but educated and well paid? 12:36 PM

Matthew

educated isnt that important 12:37 PM

Danielle Montalto

no 12:37 PM

well paid 12:37 PM

Matthew

i dont know but im sure ur not gonna find them on the upper east side 12:37 PM

those people were raised different 12:37 PM

look at the trolls kids 12:38 PM

thats basically what ur dealing wtih 12:38 PM

how many fights do u thnk eric has been in 12:39 PM

in his entire life 12:39 PM

with men 12:39 PM

Danielle Montalto

none 12:39 PM

and you know it haha 12:39 PM

Matthew

it sounds like a stupid question but is that the kind of dude u want to entrust the safty of ur family with? 12:40 PM

Danielle Montalto

well i said to him last night 12:40 PM

i am 27, i am looking for a head of household 12:40 PM

think of your head of household (your dad) 12:40 PM

and now compare yourself to him, do you think you could do what he does? i dont 12:41 PM

Matthew

if he cant defeat a wild boar with his bare hands 12:41 PM

i mean are u asking me that question becuase i thikn i can 12:42 PM

Danielle Montalto

well i mean, or at least knock some guy out who is talking shit 12:42 PM

no i asked him that question 12:42 PM

i think thats a question men should ask themselves 12:42 PM

Matthew

how much does eric make? 11:46 AM

Danielle Montalto

like 100 11:47 AM

Matthew

make him give u some money too 11:48 AM

Danielle Montalto

well 11:48 AM

al snidely was like, were moving back to white plains when the lease is up 11:48 AM

which is july 11:49 AM

but i was like (in my head) 11:49 AM

Matthew

who is al snidley? 11:49 AM

Danielle Montalto

nah nigga, you're moving back to white plains, eric is moving in with me and well take madison's room turn it into a den/office. bam, go. 11:49 AM

Matthew

I know 10:59 AM

Hows th3 gym going? 11:00 AM

Danielle Montalto

good i went this morning 11:02 AM

Matthew

Sexy? 11:04 AM

Danielle Montalto

trying 11:06 AM

Matthew

Pic worthy? 11:06 AM

Danielle Montalto

hopefully by the weekend 11:07 AM

Matthew

Sup 7:19 AM

Danielle Montalto

denise makes me want to rip my eyeballs out 7:19 AM

nothing else, you 7:19 AM

Matthew

Tanning 7:21 AM

Danielle Montalto

jeal 7:29 AM

Matthew

I wish u wer3 here 7:48 AM

I might jump ontop of you and attempt to fuck your brains out so maybe its better ur working 7:48 AM

U bikini might be a little much for me to handle 7:49 AM

Danielle Montalto

hahaha 7:49 AM

Danielle Montalto

eric wants to go to point pleasant because his friends gf (who i went to middle school with and is complete trash) has a house 1:30 PM

and im like, no 1:30 PM

Matthew

ROFL 1:30 PM

is she hot? 1:30 PM

ooo cars handy 1:32 PM

im sure its nothing but benzs ad bmws 1:32 PM

Danielle Montalto

https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/945233_10101883598480349_931749010_n.jpg 1:32 PM

in the middle 1:32 PM

Matthew

oh dear god 1:32 PM

that looks like a special Olympics pic 1:33 PM

Danielle Montalto

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/390009_10100685204077412_1751942593_n.jpg 1:33 PM

Matthew

nice gut 1:33 PM

Danielle Montalto

https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/428643_10100639674808432_147547819_n.jpg 1:33 PM

Matthew

I can see ur tyring to hide it 1:33 PM

Danielle Montalto

like GROSS 1:33 PM

Danielle Montalto

baller 11:46 AM

i cant wait to go home and lay down 11:46 AM

Matthew

too bad eric doesn't have a gigantic dick 11:46 AM

that might help you out 11:46 AM

Danielle Montalto

its not gigantic but i am pleased with its size 11:47 AM

Jenn T
|
June 11, 2013
I wish there had been an article as clear and concise as this years ago. It would have lessened my stress and anxiety during my divorce. Well written, Ms Montalto.
almost married
|
May 31, 2013
Great Advise! I will pass this article on to my fiance. It's always better to come to terms when in the right state of mind.
Rob s
|
May 30, 2013
I will I would have had a lawyer advise me to get a prenup thanks for the advice
J. Page
|
May 30, 2013
This is a very well written, concise, and informative article. Thanks!
Allen I.
|
May 30, 2013
Great article. Something everyone considering marriage should read and seriously think about.
AlmostMarried
|
May 30, 2013
Ms. Montalto - I'll be forwarding this to my soon-to-be love of my life forever and ever...so she may finally see things your way (and my way). Hopefully this can finally convince her to get the prenup done. Then we can lock it in a safe and be happily married ever after.