Today, divorce is commonplace with nearly half of all U.S. marriages failing. And, divorce is expensive. In addition to being expensive, divorce can tear apart lives and families; even so, we all like to read a juicy divorce story. Who of us has not picked up a supermarket tabloid to get the details of the latest celebrity divorce? Or went online to read the particulars of the most recent well-known split? Of course, it is easy to stand there, shake our head, and think, “I hope they had a prenup.” A prenuptial agreement for celebrities is a no-brainer.
Take for example some jaw-dropping divorce payouts. Media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, takes first prize for the most expensive divorce in U.S. history when his third wife walked away with $1.8 billion. You would think that he learned his lesson after his second divorce, when wife number two walked away with $1.7 billion. Then there is Steve Wynn who shelled out $741 million to wife, Elaine Pascal, and Mel Gibson who paid wife, Robyn Moore, $425 million. The list of prestigious divorces, and divorce settlements, goes on and includes names like Michael Jordan and Neil Diamond.
While it is easy to point at the big elephant in the room and criticize, have you considered your situation? Have you asked yourself, “If I were to marry then get divorced, what’s at stake for me?” If you are single or engaged and have asked this question or perhaps contemplating it for the first time after having read the question, then maybe a prenuptial agreement is in your best interest.
Some may reason that they do not need a prenuptial agreement because their assets are limited. Although this may be true, over time assets build and situation changes, this is especially true for longer marriages. You never want to be put in the situation where you are sitting with your divorce lawyer and he is explaining to you, that what you thought was your separate property, actually qualifies for equitable distribution. Why should you, or your spouse, lose everything because it becomes time to move on?
Preparing for or signing a prenuptial agreement is not planning for divorce. You can liken it to auto insurance. A motorist never plans on getting into an accident, but if so, the auto insurance is there to help ease the situation and make things less stressful. The purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to resolve divorce issues before the marriage ends and emotions run high. A prenuptial agreement lessens the likelihood of a high conflict divorce, cuts the cost of litigation and attorney fees, and can result in an amicable post-divorce relationship. The best part is, if you have one but never use it because your marriage is successful, then the agreement is meaningless and will not take effect.
We know that discussing a prenuptial agreement is a difficult topic, and that there are many issues to consider when thinking about executing a prenuptial agreement. We know that you may have questions or concerns. If you find yourself in that position please pick up the phone and give us a call. Answering questions is something we love to do and we would love to chat with you.