Early Show: Matrimony is Merely Monetary

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and the Early Show decided to talk love: love of money that is. Host Harry Smith and his male guests agonized over losing assets in a marriage, while Julie Chen rightly called them out, saying marriage is much more than a business deal.

Matt Titus, a guest on the February 10th broadcast and co-author of the book Why Hasn’t He Proposed, lamented over the fact that men are very concerned about their material possessions after they get married. “Men think about marriage as something that, you know, is going to be forever … so we have to look at, you know, if you've worked very hard all your life, you might lose half of it to somebody that wasn't good for you,” Titus said.

Co-host Julie Chen, the lone female voice in the segment, suggested a pre-nuptial agreement as a solution to Titus’ concern. Titus declared that pre-nups are too “tough,” and came out in full support of a new thing called ‘post-nuptials.’

“It's actually like a reformatting of the relationship,” Titus said. “After there's been history and maybe there's been trust build up, you know your partner better, and then you try to reformulate the marriage.”

Raoul Felder, a famous matrimonial attorney and the other guest in the segment, was also in favor of the new solution to material marriage problems. “A post-nuptial agreement’s a pretty smart, uh, instrument. A prenuptial agreement, you don't know what you're getting into ... post-nuptial agreement, you know we’re having problems about the cat, or the dishes or how you're spending money and so forth, so they can do it more intelligently.” Felder said.

Felder cited the economy as having an impact on the popularity of post-nups saying, “They can’t afford a divorce at this point because there’s nothing to split up. So they sign a post-nuptial agreement that says whenever one of us triggers this, we divide up whatever we have half and half, and they put other provisions in there.” The Business and Media Institute also noted the major network stories about the economy’s impact on divorce, citing the expensive process is keeping troubled marriages in tact in the current economic climate.

As if the value of marriage wasn’t reduced enough, Felder threw in this bit of wisdom: “And ya know, it’s pretty good for women sometimes because if a woman wants a divorce, a man will pay more to keep a wife than get rid of a wife.”

Chen sat dumbfounded until co-host Harry Smith realized she wasn’t talking. “I'm speechless,” said Chen. “I'm out numbed by these guys. You make it, it’s a Valentine's show and you guys are talking about it like it's a business arrangement.”

Felder, the divorce attorney, responded saying, “Business is part of marriage.”

Chen wrapped up the depressing segment saying, “Thanks for ruining my Valentine's Day.”