This week, the internet was abuzz with rumours of yet another Real Housewives separation. This time it's between The Real Housewives of New York star, Ramona Singer, and husband of 22 years, Mario Singer.
The parties, whose relationship spans 27 years, have one daughter, Avery, currently in her first year at university.
On January 29, 2014, Ramona took to the Twitter-sphere, confirming the news that she and Mario had, in fact, separated. The star thanked her fans for their love and support, and asked that people respect their privacy during this time for their daughter's sake.
Although sad, the news doesn't come as much of a shock. Allegations of infidelity have swarmed around Mario for the last few years. There have even been rumours that he has fathered a child by another woman. Jill, a friend of Ramona’s, claimed that Ramona caught Mario cheating with a woman at the couple’s Hamptons home last weekend.
Although reconciliation seems possible, assuming the parties stay separated and eventually divorce, property division will be of paramount concern. Given that the couple married 22 years ago prior to making their fortune, it is unlikely that a prenuptial agreement or marriage contract was signed (although it is possible that one was executed mid-marriage).
Although the law may be different in New York, in Ontario, as a general rule, the spouse with the lesser net family property is entitled to one-half the difference between the parties' individual net property values. Although s. 5(6) of the Family Law Act allows a court to order an unequal division of net family property where the failure to do so would be unconscionable, it is uncommon for a court to deviate greatly from a 50-50 split, especially in the absence of economic misconduct indicating bad faith by one of the spouses.
Allegations of affairs and other sexual misconduct do not affect the 50-50 split of net family property. Canadian courts have no mechanism by which to punish bad behaviour. Further, Canadian courts prefer to focus on settling practical things such as division of property, custody and access of children, and spousal and child support.
As it turns out, the Singers are going to have a lot to fight over.
According to CelebrityNetworth.com, Ramona's net worth is an impressive $18 million. The star accumulated her wealth through savvy business ventures as well as constantly expanding her operations. Ramona, who began her career as a wholesale buyer for companies such as Macy's and Calvin Klein, now has her own wholesale company, RMS Fashions, which buys and sells excess inventories.
But that's not all. The Real Housewives star is the creator of her own skincare line, Tru Renewal, as well as has her own line of Ramona Singer Jewelry on the Home Shopping Network. Her other businesses include True Faith Jewelry, a business she owns with Mario, and the Ramona Singer Collection on Amazon. Most recently, the entrepreneur created her own wine company, Ramona Pinot Grigio. And finally, let's not forget the $500,000 per season she now rakes in for being on the Housewives.
So what about Mario, you ask? Mario is the vice president of Classic Medallics and Frederick Singer & Sons, a company founded by his grandfather, which initially specialized in making religious gifts. In fact, Mario comes from a long line of jewelers. Nowadays, the company makes trophies, awards and medals. Mario is also the co-owner of True Faith Jewelry, a company specializing in religious jewelry as well as military- and celtic-themed jewelry.
Coincidentally, Mario's net worth is also estimated at $18 million by CelebrityNetWorth.com. If they had a prenup (in Canada, it's called a Marriage Contract), property division may be straight forward. Or, by their respective net worths, it could be a zero sum game.