Marriage Is A Contract

marriage is a contractMarriage is a contract and a financial institution. Even though you married your partner because you love them and want to spend the rest of your life with this person there is a financial component to this civil or holy union. Marriage started out as a means to join two young fertile people with a reputable bloodline and assets that together would yield a reputable legacy and expansive wealth or valuable property, farms etc.

This still hold true today. However, in most cases the young couple and the family do not necessarily sit down and review the bride and groom’s net worth prior to the marriage. Generally there is a hope that each will contribute to the family household later on as they grow and prosper in their careers.
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If the couple divorces years later, at least ten years should pass, so that one spouse is entitled to a portion of the higher earners social security. This you can ask Don Desroches about since he is the CDFA (certified divorce financial coach). The point here is that when a couple decides to dissolve their marriage for whatever reason, and New York is a no fault state ( no need to state grounds for divorce like it once was), their assets that incurred during the marriage now is marital property to be divided and split equitably. The expenses the liabilities the assets are all marital. There are a few exceptions, such as inheritance, settlements, prior to the marriage assets unless they were co-mingled into the marital property. There are many variable to settling the marital property and mediation is the best way to divide the assets and walk away that is fair for both. It s never expected that one spouse be left destitute while the other walk away with the farm. The marriage meant something to the both of you and with the unfortunate end to the marriage it is most important that one does not necessarily leave the marriage with what they came with but with the marital assets and liabilities that both build up together. A word of wisdom is, if one of you is spending out of control, creating debt, gambling, extensive spending way beyond the family’s means then know that your partner is also responsible for this debt.  You may want to write a post nuptial to protect the family nest egg.

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Dana and Don, are co-founders of The Mediation and Family Counseling Group.   We can be reached at, or 1-888-281-2725.


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