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October 23, 2017

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Jennifer Hendricks

I had exactly the same reactions, right down to "I bet Matt knows where it is." I passed the piece out to my Family Law class to discuss tomorrow.

Steve L.

Thanks, Jennifer. Please report back on the discussion.

Steve

Befuddled

"It is easy to blame the lawyers for making life complicated, but nobody coerced Matt into seeking a prenup."

No one coerced Abby into getting one either. It sounds like Matt was fine without both the marriage and the prenup. Abby could have had no marriage + no prenup, but she insisted on the marriage. You have to take the bitter with the sweet.

She should be happy just to be married. Think about it: she was already a poor unmarried mother. It's not like she made any career or family decisions in reliance on a marriage. If a divorce left her a poor single mother, she'd be in the same position she was in the day before she said "I do." At least this way she gets to experience married life (which she evidently wants) for a few years.

The real mystery to me is why so many couples get married at all. You don't need marriage to raise children, to have a romantic partner, to live together in your forties, to fight over money, or to do anything else married couples do. Proof: these two were doing all these things before they got married. Their marriage is about nothing more than a piece of paper.

But if a piece of paper is all it's about, then I can't blame one of the parties for not wanting to lose half of his (or, in another case, her) property over it.

Deep State Special Legal Counsel

This is a situation when a lawyer should stop being a "technician" and look at the bigger picture. This scenario is not really a legal issue. It's an issue for a professional, licensed counselor Matt should not be getting married. He is no where near ready for marriage. Dating is the process of determining what flaws in a mate one is willing to accept and live with. Matt is more interested in his money. He doesn't want to share. Probably voted for President Bone Spur.

Litowitz

Interesting post. I had a few questions:

1) Did he make full disclosure to her of his assets before she signed? That is required under the uniform law which is adopted in many states (750 ILCS 10/1), but the story doesn't say.

2) If he had significant assets (at least, enough worth protecting) then why did they fight about money during the relationship? Why didn't he at least pay for them both to live in relative comfort?

3) What is the big deal about being married? As I always told my gay friends, you can have it but be careful what you wish for (I personally favor a five-year period that expires and can be renewed for successive three year periods)!

4) Isn't there some other mechanism that could have avoided this problem, such as putting his assets in an irrevocable trust that pays him alone before, during, and after the marriage?

Deep State Special Legal Counsel

Litowitz,

Re: No. 2^^^ Exactly my point. He's a pig. It's only money. If marriage is really until "death do us apart," what's the point of hiding money? He doesn't intend for this marriage to last. This is not about good lawyering or any instrument.

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