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Starting a marriage is not a walk in the park. And neither is maintaining that marriage. Since a married couple has more financial power, the partners take various loans or get involved in projects they would not venture in otherwise. However, theylose sight of the fact that not all these partnerships last forever and sometimes, divorce is inevitable. Especially since most divorces occur due to financial disputes arisen between the spouses.

According to a New York Times article published in 2014, the divorce rate reached its peak in the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s. However, during the past three decades, these figures have decreased and, should this tendency continue, almost two thirds of marriages will never end up in a divorce. In reality, however, we all know someone who has considered getting a divorce or maybe even someone who has been through this experience.

“A divorce is not pleasant for anybody and, for many people, the emotional consequences and the suffering are stronger than the financial hardship. Especially when children are involved. That’s why, any financial issues and asset splitting should be taken care of, as soon and as fair as possible” says Andreea Dumitru, the founder of the Dumitru & Associates PC  Legal Office in New York.

According to her statements, the higher the amounts of moneyproperties and businesses involved, the stronger the financial consequences. “Besides, if the spouses are not in good terms, so they would be reasonable during the joint asset splitting, the consequences can be devastating. And even if they had certain  properties, finances, operational licences or businesses when they got married, these would be treated as separate assets in case of a divorce, only if there is a Prenuptial Agreement” she explains. Therefore, if there is no such agreement, the actual assets will be treated separately, but their increase in value recorded during the marriage, will be seen as a joint asset and it shall be split, says the lawyer. One must not neglect the fact that the longer the marriage is, the higher will be the wife’s rights.

If the two spouses have children as well, the little ones will receive financial support which will be calculated as a percentage of the wage earned by the parent who’s granted  custody of the children. The mother is the one who usually gets custody of the children and, in some cases, the wife is also granted a monthly allowance to be paid by the husband, which would allow her to maintain the same living standard she had during her marriage. The longer the marriage, the higher the amount granted.

“As times changed and women started working and earning salaries that were sometimes higher than those earned by their husbands, the courts started to grant this additional payment to the wife, less and less – such payment being an old  practice introduced in a time when women used to stay at home and raise children” says the lawyer.

If they decide to file for a divorce, the two spouses must first employ the services of a financial expert. “People often rush into things, they make quick decisions related to the split of their assets, often based on their feelings. In case of a divorce, it is advisable to leave emotions out of the equation. On the same time, the spouses must resort to a specialised divorce lawyer, to make sure that things go in everybody’s interest” says Andreea Dumitru.

The most important  reasons why people get divorced are financial problems, followed by alcohol or drug abuse by one of the spouses or by cheating.

“That’s why we recommend the conclusion of a Prenuptial Agreement before you say  “I DO”, although it might be unpleasant to think about divorce when you enter a marriage. This agreement will be your safety net in case of separation” says Andreea Dumitru.

Dumitru & Associates PC is a legal practice specialised in setting up trusts and fiducial  services, last wills and successions, family law –  including divorce, personal or commercial real estate property law. The company founded by the Romanian national Andreea Dumitru Parcalaboiu  in 2010, recorded  revenues of over half a million dollars in 2016.

Andreea Dumitru, whose professional experience includes in-house legal work in the corporate sector, has been living in New York for nearly 20 years.

She graduated from Law School in Romania and she pursued a Master’s Programme in the same domain, at Cardozo Law School in New York. She has the right to practice in New York and she is a member of the following associations: American Bar  Association, New York Bar Association , Queens, Bar Association, American Immigration Lawyers Association, she is a member of the Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce Council, the New York Branch and a member of the National Association of Professional Women.

Besides, in 2017, the American Law Institute awarded her the distinction of: “10 Best immigration  lawyers” and, on the same year, she featured in Top 100 successful women, set up by the Capital Magazine.

What are the financial risks posed by a divorce?
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