The Nurse With a Purse and Sugar Daddy Dynamic by Cheryl Stein

The idea of a “sugar daddy” is very common and well-known: A “sugar daddy” is an older man who marries a younger woman and takes care of her. There is a similar, but lesser-known dynamic when the older marrying spouse is a woman. This dynamic has been referred to as the “nurse with a purse.” In both cases, it’s equally important for the older spouse to obtain a Prenuptial Agreement.

Often, the woman in the “nurse with a purse” situation is in her 50s or older, highly capable, financially comfortable, healthy and has been married before; she is typically either widowed or divorced. Many — although by no means all — women who are in these circumstances come from traditional or religious backgrounds that particularly value marriage. They may feel like outcasts in their communities and immediate social circles when they are single. When they finally meet a suitor for marriage, their overwhelming relief often makes them walk on tippy toes, feeling they have little leverage to impose the contingency of signing a prenuptial agreement on the marriage. They are afraid of offending and warding off their prospective husband. They may also be more idealistic and resistant to believe that divorce can happen.

In this situation, when the woman remarries, she pays the bills and household expenses. After say — an eight-to-ten-year marriage — that ends in divorce, she often ends up completely depleted financially because the man is not well or is, for some other reason, monetarily dependent on her. The woman often has to assume more of a caretaking role. In such marriages, the woman may get very little from the relationship in terms of actual emotional support, friendship, and household help; literally, the only thing she may get is a man by her side and the status of being married. Several of my clients have fallen into this category and described these exact sentiments to me.

When the woman and her husband end up in divorce, it can have devastating financial consequences. The woman may have her own children she is trying to put through college and is carefully allocating her resources. There is an adage: “As long as you are young and healthy you can generate more money.” However, these women — who are often in their 50s and 60s — cannot generate more money that quickly. They are at the end of their working years. It is very debilitating to them to see that much money wiped out at the time of the divorce in equitable distribution and maintenance payments, as well as litigation expenses.

It is more common for sugar daddies to assert themselves pre-marriage and demand that a prenuptial agreement be signed, while women have a harder time finding their voice on this point and asserting themselves.

If you are remarrying and want to protect your assets both during your marriage and in case of divorce, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Cheryl Stein, Esq.
The Law and Mediation Offices of Cheryl Stein
Offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn
Phone: (646) 884-2324