Written by Emily Brenner, ATTORNEY AT LAW, MA, LPC, NCC
If you are earning a healthy six-figure income, there are facts you need to know. Whether single or married, you have made it to the H.I.T. list—the High-Income Target list for the financially vulnerable in love. THERE ARE THREE THINGS EVERYONE ON THE H.I.T. LIST NEEDS TO KNOW:
1. You Need A Pre-Nuptial or Post-Nuptial Agreement
When someone tells you that it is not romantic to speak about money when declaring commitment to your relationship, LOOK OUT! That person is usually not the one who stands to lose a lot of wealth if the relationship ends. Everyone – I mean everyone in the top income brackets should have a pre-nuptial agreement or post nuptial agreement. Having that conversation with your beloved can be sticky but you can have an expert gently guide the conversation.
2. You Have Exposure for Breach of Promise Suits
Let me tell you about a nightmare that one of my colleague’s clients went through. This gentleman met a woman at a resort, they had an affair and she even came to stay with him afterward for what started as a “hot” event and lasted a few months. Long story short, when they broke up she sued him for “breach of promise” claiming that he had invited her and her young child to a high standard of living and that they were both damaged forever by the breakup. Bottom-line, they settled for $75,000, because the gentlemen involved didn’t want the scandal and believed that it would cost at least that much to try the case. Another case for breach of promise I heard about recently settled for $150K. So, what is the lesson here? Again, it might not be romantic to, but it is absolutely necessary to have a real discussion about expectations, and to take responsible measures to protect your assets.
3. You Have Exposure for STD Suits
Look at the recent cases in the media lately with Michael Vick and Usher. In both cases the celebrities being accused settled to make these embarrassing cases go away. In both cases, the issue hinged on proving that one party did not have an STD prior to having sex with the other, and that the other insured them, that is was safe, or at least, didn’t tell them it wasn’t. How do you protect yourself? Depending on where you live and other circumstances, you should discuss this with your family law professional to get protection—another definition of “safe sex!”