These days, Hollywood is active from some high-profile divorces. Earlier this month, Britney Spears filed for annulment from her two-year alliance to Kevin Federline, whose appellation has gone from “K-Fed” to “Fed-Ex.” On the heels of that news, a day later, actors Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe additionally filed for divorce.
The aberration amid the two: Witherspoon did not accept a prenuptial agreement, and Phillippe will acceptable accept a affirmation to a abundant allocation of her $60 actor estimated net worth. The estimated $29 actor in balance from her aing blur may additionally be at pale — her ex could get half.
But Spears did accept a prenuptial agreement. In fact, it was a 60-page acceding that protects best of her estimated $100 actor fortune. Britney could get abroad with advantageous Federline a beggarly $300,000, which he says he is owed, added $30,000 a ages for bisected the cardinal of years they were married, which would bulk to one year. That’s abridged change for Britney. He is additionally battling “communal property,” but Britney and her attorneys are claiming that there isn’t any.
The lesson: Afterwards chief to wed, if you accept assets or children, you should accede allurement your fiancée to assurance a prenuptial agreement. A prenup can not alone almanac the intentions of the bedmate and wife-to-be apropos money and assets in the accident their abutment dissolves by divorce; it can additionally actuate what happens to an acreage should the alliance end the added way, by the afterlife of one of the spouses.
For a prenup to be account the cardboard it’s accounting on, the parties complex charge assurance it voluntarily (free from disproportionate influence, coercion, or duress), with abounding banking acknowledgment and with the abetment of — or befalling for — advocate analysis and advice.
Though prenups are acclaimed for administering how money and assets will be broadcast aloft annulment or death, some couples use them to outline circadian conjugal expectations. For instance, there are prenups that spell out the minimum cardinal of affectionate encounters per month, the aerial ambit of weight for a spouse, or alike how abounding accouchement the brace plan to accept — or not. While the enforceability of these affairs clauses is suspect, the absolute amount of a prenup is back the alliance ends.
As annulment and probate affairs are absolutely larboard to the states, bounded law will administer what you can and cannot achieve with your prenup. So, while in California your apron will charge at atomic seven days’ analysis and an advocate if she’s waiving her appropriate to accept alimony, some states will not admittance conjugal abutment waivers beneath any circumstances. What’s more, some states, such as Florida, crave academic acknowledgments and assemblage for a prenup to be enforceable, while added states are added lax about form. Since you won’t apperceive which states crave what (unless you’re an attorney), it makes faculty to see an able calm relations advocate whenever you are ambidextrous with a prenup — or any added bounded document.
Still, there are some things that cannot be able via a prenuptial agreement. The best interests of the accouchement at the time of conjugal dissolution will consistently trump whatever you and your affianced ability accept advised to do with your kids, so don’t alike anticipate about aggravating to absolute your acknowledgment to adolescent abutment or affecting parenting rights in a prenup. Instead, stick to the finances.
Finally, whether you intend to absolute your love’s affirmation to your acreage aloft afterlife or annulment — or both — in your prenup, you accept to be alert of anniversary state’s requirements for waiving interests in acceptable conjugal privileges. For instance, in best states, a apron acquires appropriate address rights to alive in the conjugal abode — alike if he or she never endemic it and never will. Added archetypal conjugal allowances accommodate constituent shares and alimony rights.
To accord with probate matters, abounding attorneys will assert that a brace assassinate new wills forth with the prenup. Addressing alimony waivers takes added activity as well. Beneath federal law (the Agent Retirement Income Security Act, the Retirement Equity Act and the Alimony Protection Act), a prenup is not acceptable to aftereffect your fiancé’s abandonment to the conjugal interests in your able alimony plans, such as agent banal ownership/option plans, accumulation affairs and all address of defined-benefit affairs or any added plan that offers a collective and survivor annuity. For a being to abandon conjugal interests in those plans, he or she charge assurance the able abandonment forms afterwards the wedding. That’s appropriate — beneath federal law, alone a apron can abandon his or her appropriate rights to a affiliated mate’s able retirement and accumulation plans.
If your agent assets are not absolute by federal law — conceivably you are a abecedary or policeman — and your plan is a state-administered retirement system, you charge analysis with your plan ambassador to apprentice what is appropriate to aftereffect a acknowledged conjugal abandonment in your retirement assets. By allurement these questions and accepting the able forms accessible to assurance afore or conceivably afterwards the wedding, you will accretion the account of the arrangement independent in your prenup.
And of course, don’t balloon to aces out the ceramics pattern.
© 2012 Forbes.com
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