Prenup = Smart Financial Planning
In the last post, we discussed how to protect one’s assets immediately following the decision to divorce. In this post, we will talk about preemptively protecting one’s assets before walking down the aisle–or, entering into a prenuptial agreement.
The Difficulty of Dividing Assets upon Divorce
No matter how many or what type of assets a couple has acquired during marriage, deciding who gets what can get complicated. However, couples who have amassed a lot of property may find themselves in a property division dispute for a long time after the divorce.
Celebrity blogs and magazines have been keeping us up-to-date on Kelsey and Camille Grammer’s reportedly messy divorce, which was finalized in February. Eight months later, it has been announced that Grammer and his ex-wife are close to reaching a property settlement that both agree is fair. Kelsey and Camille had no prenuptial agreement, despite the fact that Mr. Grammer was making $1.6 million dollars an episode on “Frasier” at the time the couple were married. Thus, under California law, Camille is entitled to half of the estimated $100 million estate they accumulated over the course of their 13-year marriage. Divvying up this fortune with no prenup was likely not an easy task.
The Benefits of Having a Prenup
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two people who are about to be wed that spells out how assets will be distributed in the event of divorce or death. It is wise to have a prenup if you fall into any of these categories:
- One of you is much wealthier than the other
- You are coming into the marriage with assets, such as a home, stock, or retirement funds
- You are a business owner
- You have children or grandchildren from a previous marriage
- You have relatives that need to be taken care of, such as elderly parents
- You are pursuing a degree or license in a lucrative profession
While talking to your soon-to-be spouse about a prenup may be difficult, remember that a marriage is a financial union, as well as an emotional one. Accordingly the financial security and protection provided by a prenup may work to strengthen, rather than weaken, your relationship.
Seek Experienced, Practical Family Law Counsel
If you are getting married and considering a prenup, or if you are getting divorced and have questions about property division, please contact Lana Hawkins, Attorney at Law, at Hawkins Law LLC, for advice and representation from an experienced Alabama family law attorney.