Tag: Pet Custody Prenups

Prenuptial Agreements Take Center Field

Prenuptial agreements take center field, former Cardinal center fielder, Jim Edmonds, is finding out. That’s because his estranged wife, Meghan King, is trying to strike out their prenuptial agreement after the divorce was filed. Can prenuptial agreements be challenged?

Prenuptial Agreement Center Field

Play Ball!

Baseball is back in the news this summer, and retired slugger Jim Edmonds, is not having a great season. The four-time All-Star, who played 17 seasons most of which with the St. Louis Cardinals and California/Anaheim Angels, was hospitalized for pneumonia earlier in the year, and now admits he tested positive for the coronavirus.

But striking out a prenuptial agreement is the play of the day. Prenuptial agreements set out what property stays yours, what property does not, and ensure that your assets stay in your family line for the benefit of your children from another relationship and other reasons. Prenups can even be used to limit your exposure to paying alimony.

But can Meghan get out of her prenuptial agreement? Jimmy Baseball’s divorce is at a standstill until a judge decides if his prenuptial agreement is valid.

Florida Prenuptial Agreements

I’ve written about prenuptial agreements before. Prenuptial agreements are not just for celebrity sports figures, and they are about much more than just resolving uncertainty in a marriage.

Any couple who brings any personal or business assets to the union can benefit from one. They are also important to have in place before a couple starts investing in businesses, properties and other investments. But prenups are frequently challenged in court.

Florida has both case law and a statute to help lawyers, judges and the parties determine if a prenuptial agreement is enforceable.

For example, Florida courts must consider things such as fraud, duress, coercion, in addition to the unfairness of the agreement, and whether there was any financial disclosure.

Batter Up!

According to reports, Meghan herself has publicly explained the agreement was done at her urging because she didn’t want Jim’s family to think she was trying to take his money.

The mom-of-three openly discussed the matter throughout her time starring on the Bravo reality TV series and explained why she was so adamant about moving forward with a prenup.

“Way before we ever got engaged, I suggested him getting a prenup to protect his feelings about our marriage, about where my heart is coming from. And honestly, a big part of the reason, totally aside from the whole marriage thing, why I wanted it is to protect the children because I never wanted the children’s mothers or the children to think that me as their step mom or as this new person in their life was going to take things from them.

Jim, 49, has four kids of his own from previous relationships. He and Meghan welcomed three kids, daughter Aspen and twin boys Hart and Hayes, during their marriage. They split custody 50-50.

Additionally, reports say Jim is paying Meghan “more than three times” the amount of child support that’s been suggested by the court and continues to foot the bill for many of her living expenses. He is letting her live in one of his homes in St. Louis and is paying the mortgage and all the bills for that house. He gives her money for her full-time nanny and housekeeper.

He pays for practically every single expense related to the children. And, if that wasn’t enough, he pays half the rent on her Los Angeles beach house. Jim has been beyond generous to Meghan and provides full financial support for his children,” the rep asserts.

Meghan has told E! News:

“I’m looking forward to putting this behind me amicably and I don’t wish to discuss the private details of my divorce at this time.”

In an Instagram comment shared by Meghan and captured by tabloids last month, she shot down one follower’s claim that she’s received “serious child support” from her estranged husband.

“Girl I have a career thank you very much!” she wrote back. “That child support is not buying me gold and baubles. It barely pays for groceries for my tribe!”

The E!-online article is here.

 

Millennials: The New Prenup Crowd

As the New York Times reports, these days, millennials are being credited with the recent spike in prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements. With the wedding season in full swing, the rise of a new prenup crowd could mean the downfall of the stigma typically associated with them.

New Prenup Crowd

AAML Statistics

According to a study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 62% of attorneys surveyed saw an uptick in requests for prenuptial agreements, with 51% citing an increase in millennials asking for the protection.

One likely reason: The Generation Y crowd is marrying later than previous generations, with years to build up assets and debt on their own. The term Millennials refers to the generation of people born between the early 1980s and 1990s. The Millennial Generation is also known as Generation Y, because it comes after Generation X — those people between the early 1960s and the 1980s.

That new approach of Millennials accounts for the changing role of women in the work force, too. In 1980, just 13 percent of women who lived with a male partner earned at least half the couple’s income — today, that number has nearly tripled.

So, while prenups traditionally protected the party with money — which often was the man, and which often led to resentment — millennials usually tackle the agreements as a team.

Florida Prenups

I’ve written about prenuptial agreements before. A prenuptial agreement (or “prenup” for short) is a contract between people intending to marry. A prenup determines spousal rights when the marriage ends by death or divorce. This can be especially important in second marriages.

If you divorce without a prenup, your property rights are determined under state law, and a spouse may have a claim to alimony while the suit for divorce is pending and after entry of a judgment.

That’s where prenups come in. Prospective spouses may limit or expand state laws by an agreement. Prenups are also used to protect the interests of children from a prior marriage, and to avoid a contested divorce. Prenups can be a reliable guide down rough rivers if they’re done right.

Millennial Prenups

Another factor in the rise of the new prenup crowd could be practicality, as more than one-third of millennials grew up with single or divorced parents. Though it’s easy to think of a prenuptial agreement as a “divorce contract,” many legal and financial experts view it as a smart business move.

“It’s such a good idea to go into the marriage understanding that — while it’s first

Several reasons you may want a prenup include:

  • Own property or a business
  • Have children from a previous relationship, or have been married before
  • Plan to take time off to raise children
  • Hold significant debt
  • Have robust retirement accounts
  • Will receive stock options during your marriage
  • Feel that a prenup might be a good fit for you? Here’s how to get started.
  • Talk to your partner, sooner rather than later. By starting early, you’ll allow time for multiple discussions — and prevent your fiancé from feeling forced or rushed into something he or she doesn’t understand or agree with.

When you hire a lawyer to complete your prenup, he or she will request all your financials — bank and investment accounts, tax returns, insurance policies, debts — so it’s wise to start compiling that information now.

And, though it might seem like a headache, getting a clear picture of your finances is always a good idea — especially before you merge your life with someone else’s. One thing you must omit: issues of custody or support for future children, as those decisions are made in the best interest of the child at the time.

Ready to make it official? You and your betrothed will each need to hire a lawyer. Depending on the level of complexity and negotiation, legal representation for a prenuptial agreement can cost $2,500 and up.

As long as you work with your fiancé in a team, a prenup can bring you closer together — rather than further apart.

The New York Times article is here.

 

This is your Religious Prenup

A Detroit-area man must pay his former wife $50,000 under the terms of their Islamic prenup. Not only are prenuptial agreements on the rise among all engaged couples, they are also becoming very popular for religious couples. But is a religious prenup enforceable in the U.S.?

muslim prenup

Mehr Agreements

A Michigan man argued that a family court judge exceeded her authority by trying to resolve a religious issue in a divorce. In 2012, the husband approached Mohammed Ali and asked permission to marry Mr. Ali’s daughter.

They negotiated the terms of the arranged marriage. Mr. Ali proposed that defendant could marry his daughter if defendant paid her $51,000, a payment the parties referred to as Mehr, a traditional component of Islamic marriages.

He agreed to the payment proposed by Mr. Ali. The Wife considered the offer of marriage, on the financial terms negotiated by her father, for approximately one year and ultimately decided to accept the marriage proposal and the parties married in 2013.

Florida Prenups

I’ve written about prenuptial agreements and even about a religious prenup. Prenuptial agreements are about more than just resolving uncertainty in a marriage.

Any couple who brings any personal or business assets to the union can benefit from one. They are also important to have in place before a couple starts investing in businesses, properties and other investments.

A prenuptial agreement (or “prenup” for short) is a contract between people intending to marry. A prenup determines spousal rights when the marriage ends by death or divorce. This can be especially important in second marriages.

If you divorce without a prenup, your property rights are determined under state law, and a spouse may have a claim to alimony while the suit for divorce is pending and after entry of a judgment.

Without a prenup, if your spouse dies, you will have statutory rights under state law to a share of your deceased spouse’s estate and may also have a right to lump sum death benefits, or a survivor annuity under a retirement plan.

That’s where prenups come in. Prospective spouses may limit or expand these rights by an agreement. Prenups are also used to protect the interests of children from a prior marriage, and to avoid a contested divorce. Prenups can be very worthwhile provided they’re done right.”

The most basic of prenups should list an inventory of premarital assets that would stay with the original owner in case of a divorce. Florida has both case law and a statute to help lawyers, judges and the parties determine if a prenuptial agreement is enforceable.

Religious Prenup

Back in the Michigan case, it was uncontested that the Husband and Wife had only a verbal agreement for payment of $51,000, in consideration of marriage, until the day of their marriage ceremony.

During that ceremony, the parties signed a document that placed the contract to marry in writing. The one-page document signed by the parties was titled “Marriage Certificate” which is the basis for the religious prenup dispute.

The document stated that the Groom solemnly proposes to marry the bride and take her as my wife and agree to pay Mehr of $51,000 Later. Furthermore, the document stated that the Bride solemnly accepted the proposal.

During the course of the marriage, the Husband made several payments, totaling $3,900, toward the $51,000 mehr. In 2016, the Wife filed an action for separate maintenance and the Husband filed a counterclaim for divorce.

During the divorce trial, plaintiff asked the trial court to enforce the contract to marry and award her $47,100, the unpaid amount of the mehr.

The trial court concluded that the parties executed a valid, simple contract and entered a judgment in plaintiff’s favor in the amount of $47,100. In addition, the trial court granted the parties a judgment of divorce, denied the request for spousal support, and divided the parties’ marital assets.

Does Shariah Law Apply?

The Husband actually argued that the contract states on its face that it was made under Shariah law and that it was not made under any state law. But did the Mehr merely provide for a religious obligation or was it an enforceable contractual obligation under Michigan law?

The trial court clearly stated that it was not applying Shariah law, but was applying Michigan law to the parties’ contract:

“We are not interpreting or applying the contract between the parties under Shariah law, but are applying Michigan law to the review of the parties’ contract and the judgment of divorce entered by the trial court.”

In this case, neither the trial court nor this Court is required to resolve ecclesiastical questions. The trial court did not claim any power to grant the parties a divorce under Islamic law, but only the power to grant the parties a civil divorce under Michigan law.

The trial court did not decide the parties’ respective religious obligations under the tenets of their faith tradition, but only decided the parties’ respective obligations under long-established principles of Michigan contract law. Because this case does not require the resolution of any ecclesiastical questions, we conclude that defendant’s argument is without merit.

U.S. courts don’t enforce religious laws, be they Christian, Jewish or Muslim. U.S. courts enforce American law. As long as a religious agreement can be enforced without resolving theological questions it may be enforceable.

The U.S. News article is here.

 

Pet custody is going to California

Pet custody is closer to becoming a reality after California passed a law making pets community property but letting judges decide who gets to keep them. What is Florida’s law on pet custody?

Pet Custody

California Dreaming

All the leaves are brown, and the sky may be grey, but California just began a new era for how pets are treated after a divorce. A new law passed on Thursday makes sure pets are seen as more than just property when it comes time to split up assets in a divorce.

According to the San Diego Tribune, Assembly Bill 2274 will ensure care of a pet is taken into consideration both while divorce proceedings are underway and after they’re made official.

With the new law, a person can petition the court for sole or joint ownership based on care of the pet, which is defined to include “prevention of acts of harm or cruelty” and “the provision of food, water, veterinary care and safe and protected shelter.”

The law also adds a new ability for a person in the divorce to request an order that would require one person in the marriage to care for the pet prior to the divorce becoming final.

Florida Pet Custody

I’ve written on the development of pet custody cases and statutes before. Pet custody cases are becoming more and more prevalent around the country. That is because state lawmakers and advocacy groups are promoting the notion that the legal system should act in the best interests of animals.

Pets are becoming a recognized part of the family. About 15 years ago, states began to allow people to leave their estates to care for their pets. Recently, courts have gone so far as to award shared custody, visitation and even alimony payments to pet owners.

Florida doesn’t have pet custody or visitation laws. Florida courts are already overwhelmed with the supervision of custody, visitation, and support matters related to the protection of children.

Accordingly, Florida courts have not or cannot undertake the same responsibility as to animals.

I Remember California

The law in California used to be like Florida, viewing pets as property to be argued over in the separation of assets.

“There is nothing in statute directing judges to treat a pet differently from any other type of property we own, I know that owners view their pets as more than just property. They are part of our family, and their care needs to be a consideration during divorce proceedings.”

Now, rather than seen as a valued property item or dollar amount to be divided, the well-being of the pet will get more consideration.

California Calling

Supporters of the law hope the new law will lead to fewer homeless animals. But not everyone is happy. The Association of Certified Family Law Specialists opposed it, saying divorces already face significant delays and issues of contention in court, especially when it comes to children.

“By adding in sole or joint ownership of pet animals as a determination courts can make in divorce proceedings, the already backlogged family court proceedings may become even more delayed as judges consider the myriad factors that come into play when making decisions about community property division and child custody.”

The San Diego Tribune article is here.

 

Prenuptial Agreements in Jeopardy

Many people are starting to notice that the new tax law could wreak havoc on their prenuptial agreement. If you are planning on getting married this summer, here’s a few things to consider before signing that prenup.

Prenuptial Agreements

I’ve written about prenuptial agreements before. Prenuptial agreements, or prenups, are agreements you sign with your fiancé before marriage that outline how you two would end up in case of divorce or death.

A prenup can resolve things like alimony, ownership of businesses, title of properties, and even each spouse’s financial responsibilities during the marriage.

There are many other concerns that can be addressed in the prenup:

  • Caring for a parent
  • Going back to school
  • Shopping habits
  • Credit card debt;
  • Tax liabilities;
  • Alimony and child support from previous relationships; and
  • Death or disability.

A few of the points of a prenup, is that you get to decide on the amount of alimony, the terms of alimony or whether you will pay any alimony at all, and how to divide movie royalties and other assets.

And because prenuptial agreements can impact how much alimony you agreed to pay or received, the new tax overhaul comes into play heavily in your agreement.

Tax Law Overhaul and Alimony

The new tax law offers an avenue for challenge because courts will likely have to consider how the law has changed since the contracts were created.

For example, beginning in 2019, people paying alimony will be no longer be able to deduct their alimony payments. That little change in the law could mean they effectively pay double in post-tax costs compared to what they had previously agreed to in their prenups.

President Trump, who pushed the new tax law, told New York Magazine in 2006 that his prenup with Melania Trump made his marriage stronger despite being a “hard, painful, ugly tool,” he didn’t disclose any details of the agreement.

More than 60% of divorce attorneys said they had seen a rise in the number of clients seeking prenups in the previous three years, while just 1% reported a drop.

There aren’t hard numbers, but it’s fair to say that prenups have become more popular in recent years as younger Americans delay marriage, and the divorce rate has skyrocketed for people over 50 who often use prenups if they remarry.

Prenups and New Tax Changes

If prenuptial agreements aren’t amended to factor in the tax changes, it will be up to divorce attorneys to settle — or judges to decide — whether the amounts or formulas still stand for couples who divorce starting in 2019.

Even if both parties agree to an adjustment in alimony, they’ll need to agree on exactly how much to cut the payers’ obligations. Divorcing couples could end up hiring rival accountants as expert witnesses to sway judges.

For those in the top income-tax bracket — the likeliest to have a prenup — being able to deduct the payout from taxable income had been a big saving because every dollar in alimony reduces the payer’s taxable income by the same amount.

Top earners in high-tax areas like California and New York City can face marginal tax rates close to 50 percent. Without the deduction, a spouse who agreed to write a $10,000 check each month could be on the hook for what is effectively almost $20,000 in pre-tax income.

Lawmakers said they eliminated the alimony deduction to end what they called a “divorce subsidy” under the old law.

The change, which raises an estimated $6.9 billion over the next decade, doesn’t affect divorces and separation agreements finalized before the end of 2018.

However, next year the newly divorced won’t be able to deduct alimony payments, but recipients will get the money tax-free (previously, the payments had to be reported as part of their taxable income).

Ultimately, the change could hurt alimony recipients. Payers could plead with judges to revise their obligations given the new law — a valid legal argument given that many prenups specifically mention that the payments are intended be deductible.

Those potentially reduced payments are likely to overpower the benefit recipients get from being able to receive the payments tax-free because they tend to be in lower tax brackets than the payers.

The Bloomberg article is here.

 

Prenuptial Agreements: Can you bust a prenup?

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements protect your wealth by setting out what property stays yours, what property does not, and ensuring that your assets stay in your family line. Prenups can even be used to limit your exposure to paying alimony. But can you get out of a prenuptial agreement?

What are Prenups?

A prenuptial agreement (or “prenup” for short) is a contract between people intending to marry. A prenup determines spousal rights when the marriage ends by death or divorce.

If you divorce without a prenup, your property rights are determined under state law, and a spouse may have a claim to alimony while the suit for divorce is pending and after entry of a judgment.

Without a prenup, if your spouse dies, you will have statutory rights under state law to a share of your deceased spouse’s estate, and may also have a right to lump sum death benefits, or a survivor annuity under a retirement plan.

That’s where prenups come in. Prospective spouses may limit or expand these rights by an agreement. Prenups are also used to protect the interests of children from a prior marriage, and to avoid a contested divorce. Prenups can be very worthwhile provided they’re done right.”

When Prenups are done wrong

It is important to realize that the courts will not likely enforce prenuptial agreements (prenups) in certain cases. Forbes magazine recently ran an interesting article listing some of the common problems with do-it-yourself, cheap, or downloaded prenups:

  • It is not a formal legal document. Only well-drafted agreements can override states that have community property laws or equitable distribution requirements.
  • It is a “shotgun” agreement. If there is any form of coercing a person to sign the agreement, it can turn out to be unenforceable.
  • One person failed to read the agreement. When there is proof that one or both of the spouses did not read the prenup, it might not be enforceable.
  • One party is hiding or just not sharing knowledge of all assets and liabilities. Full transparency between the prospective partners is mandatory.
  • It includes invalid provisions. These are terms that are illegal or against public policy. For example, the courts will not enforce prenups if they stray into areas such as waiving child support.
  • Each partner does not have separate legal counsel.Both parties should – and in some states, it is a requirement – have their own legal counsel so that their separate interests are promoted.
  • The agreement is unconscionable. If the prenup is so completely unfair that it puts one partner in a horrible financial situation and sets up things so the other partner is solidly financially positioned, the courts will very likely not enforce it. Unconscionable agreements are “extreme.”

Florida Prenuptial Agreements

I’ve written about prenuptial agreements before. Prenuptial agreements are about more than just resolving uncertainty in a marriage. Any couple who brings any personal or business assets to the union can benefit from one. They are also important to have in place before a couple starts investing in businesses, properties and other investments.

The most basic of prenups should list an inventory of premarital assets that would stay with the original owner in case of a divorce. Florida has both case law and a statute to help lawyers, judges and the parties determine if a prenuptial agreement is enforceable.

For example, Florida courts must consider things such as fraud, duress, coercion, in addition to the unfairness of the agreement, and whether there was any financial disclosure.

According to the Forbes article:

It’s not all that uncommon for mistakes to be made when putting a prenup in place. . . high-quality legal work is based in expertise and precision, which is why we diligently do everything possible to make sure our clients’ prenups do not get ‘busted.’

The Forbes article is here.

 

Daredevil without a Prenup

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have not resolved their jointly filed divorce one year after filing. Reports suggest they never had a prenuptial agreement, which may be the reason the divorce is taking so long after they filed.

Gone Girl

The actors filed to end their 10-year marriage on April 13, 2016, nearly two years after they originally announced their split, but there are no reports of a prenuptial agreement filed.

The divorce isn’t finalized and the two have been in mediation to settle privately. The actors are seeking joint physical and legal custody of their three children.

Affleck and Garner, costarred in 2003’s “Daredevil” and wed in 2005. They announced their intention to divorce in June 2015, after 10 years of marriage, but did not file documents until now.

“After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce,” the couple said in a joint statement in 2015.

According to TMZ, Affleck and Garner do not have a prenuptial agreement, meaning everything is on the table for negotiation and possibly trial.

Prenuptial Agreements

I’ve written about prenuptial agreements before.

Many people think prenuptial agreements are for actors such as Affleck and Gardner. That is just fiction out of Hollywoodland. Even if you don’t enter a marriage with Affleck’s wealth, it might not be a bad idea to have a prenup.

The lack of a prenuptial agreement for Affleck has probably means that a lot of issues they could have resolved at the beginning of the marriage, may have to be fought over the past year since they’ve filed..

Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” are contracts entered into before marriage that outline the division of assets in case of divorce or death.

A prenup can resolve things like alimony, ownership of businesses, title of properties, and even each spouse’s financial responsibilities during the marriage.

There are many other concerns that can be addressed in the prenup:

  • Caring for a parent
  • Going back to school
  • Shopping habits
  • Credit card debt;
  • Tax liabilities;
  • Alimony and child support from previous relationships; and
  • Death or disability.

A few of the points of a prenup, is that you get to decide on the amount of alimony, the terms of alimony or whether you will pay any alimony at all, and how to divide movie royalties and other assets.

Chasing Amy

Putting aside the lack of a prenuptial agreement, Affleck and Gardner seem to be doing well by their children. The whole Affleck Gardner family recently made a group trip to Sea Life Park in Oahu. “During the trip, Garner stayed at a resort while Affleck stayed at a nearby house. Additionally, there are reports that Affleck is looking to buy a home near Garner in Los Angeles.

“Ben is looking to buy a family friendly house,” a source previously told PEOPLE in October 2017. “Lindsay shared her opinions, but it was clear that they are not buying a house together.”

Affleck had been living in a rental since he moved out of the family estate he used to share with Garner. Prior to their divorce filing last April, he was living in the family’s guesthouse.

The Los Angeles Times article is here.

 

Prenups are Nothing New

A 2,480-year-old Egyptian scroll was recently found. But the scroll is not some royal decree from the ruling Pharaoh, or an ancient poem written on the shores of the Nile. Egyptologists report that the scroll is a prenuptial agreement.

Ancient Prenups

Written in demotic script — demotic being derived from the hieratic writing system, a kind of shorthand for hieroglyphs — the prenup was made to ensure that if the union between the signers didn’t work out, the wife would be adequately provided for.

Her compensation would include “1.2 pieces of silver and 36 bags of grain every year for the rest of her life.”

Most people have no idea that women in ancient Egypt had the same legal rights as men. Egyptian women, no matter their marital status, could enter into contracts, sue and be sued, and serve on juries and as witnesses.

In ancient Egypt, women used to be able to acquire and own property, and fairly often, they did: a fragment of papyrus from 1147 B.C., denoting thousands of land holdings names women as the owners of about 10 percent of the properties listed.

Back then, married women could file for divorce, and they were even ensured alimony — provided they had a document like a prenup, which they could write up any time before or during the relationship — at which point it would be more accurately described as a postnup.

Florida Prenups

Prenuptial agreements aren’t just for ancient pyramid dwellers, they are important for any couple planning to marry. I have written extensively on prenuptial agreements.

A prenup can help keep your non-marital property yours. The property you brought into the marriage is yours – mostly.

But over time it is common for people to start mixing things up. Inheritance funds get deposited into joint accounts; properties get transferred into joint names…and all for good reason.

Unfortunately, tracing commingled property is expensive, and hard to prove. But, if you put it in writing at the beginning, you might be able to avoid this task, and save some money down the road.

Prenuptial agreements also help you to change the law. For example, right now in Florida, there has been an ongoing debate about alimony. When you go to court, a judge has to follow state law regarding alimony.

However, through prenuptial agreements you can modify Florida’s legal standards for awarding alimony, in addition to modifying what the current law says about the amount of support and the duration of the alimony period.

Nile Negotiations

This ancient Egyptian prenup was signed in 365 BCE. Such contracts were extremely advantageous to the wife. The prenups were purely economic, promising not eternal faithfulness or mutual responsibility – but cold, hard cash.

The ancient Egyptian prenup ensured the wife could survive with or without her husband, although she had to pay for the privilege, giving him 30 pieces of silver upfront in exchange.

The prenup process was simple in ancient Egypt. The marrying couple would get together, and bring along a scribe and some witnesses. The person proposing the agreement would speak it aloud, and the scribe would write the terms down, translating them into legal language along the way.

Then the second person would either accept or refuse to sign the prenup. If he or she accepted, the contract was considered binding. If one of the signatories broke the terms, he or she would appear before a court.

The Atlas Obscura article is available here.

 

A Playboy Prenup

An “ironclad” prenuptial agreement could block Hugh Hefner’s wife, Crystal Harris, from inheriting anything from his estimated $43 million fortune. Are prenups only necessary for Playboys, or are they something everyone marrying should consider?

The Playboy Prenup

Playboy founder, Hugh Hefner passed away peacefully in his home, surrounded by loved ones, on Sept. 27. He was 91 years old.

The model and the late media tycoon tied the knot on New Year’s Eve in 2012, and soon after. According to Us Weekly, Harris purportedly signed a prenuptial agreement, and was not added to Hefner’s will.

At the time of the report, Hefner’s fortune was promised to “his children, the University of Southern California film school and a variety of charities,” according to a source, who added that Harris would be “taken care of.”

Florida Prenups

Many think prenuptial agreements are for Playboys like Hugh Hefner. But, you don’t always enter a marriage with the Playboy Mansion, or guarantees that the bliss will last. It might not be a bad idea to have a plan in place.

Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” are contracts entered into before marriage that outline the division of assets in case of divorce or death.

They resolve things like alimony, ownership of businesses, title of properties, and even each spouse’s financial responsibilities during the marriage.

There are many other concerns that can be addressed in the prenup:

  • Caring for a parent
  • Going back to school;
  • Shopping habits
  • Credit card debt;
  • Tax liabilities;
  • Alimony and child support from previous relationships; and
  • Death or disability.

I’ve written about the need for prenups before. There are times when a prenup is a “must-have”:

  • When one person enters the marriage with significantly more money or assets than the other;
  • When one or both future spouses have family money or inheritances;
  • When you want to keep parts of your finances separate: such as separate bank accounts, and a joint account for paying household bills.

One of the points of a prenup, is that if money in the bank becomes mixed, accounting for any increase or loss becomes very difficult to trace and unwind if you end up in divorce court.

Back at the Playboy Mansion

According to reports, Crystal broke off the marriage five days before their planned June 2011 wedding, and ahead of their 2012 wedding, she explained why she got cold feet before the first planned nuptials:

Last time it turned into a a big ordeal, and then it all fell apart, she said at the time. This time around is amazing … I’m very happy, and Hef’s very happy and we’re excited.

There is a good reason for the Playboy founder wanting a prenup. Harris is Hefner’s third wife. He was previously married to Mildred Williams in 1949 before divorcing 10 years later; in 1989, he married Playmate Kimberly Conrad, but the two separated in 1998 and divorced in 2010.

The article is available here.

 

Celebrity Prenups

Market Watch reports that Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx were spotted holding hands in Malibu – the first time they were seen together – allegedly because Tom Cruise had a clause in their prenuptial agreement prohibiting her from publicly dating another man after their divorce for a period of time.

Strange Prenup Clauses

There’s been an increase in so-called “lifestyle clauses” in agreements in recent years. The increase, and prenups and marital agreements are subjects I have written about several times.

According to Market Watch, there are agreements which penalize everything from cursing ($100 for each “f-bomb”) to weight gain (eliminating alimony for a woman if she gained 25 pounds from her wedding weight).

For most prenuptial agreements, however, “lifestyle clauses” typically don’t include such demands. The can include requirements that children born from the marriage be raised in a certain country, or under a certain religion.

Strange clauses in agreements can also spell out what can happen during the marriage. For instance, some contract clauses regulate whether one or both parties could cheat, as well as rules dealing with physical appearances.

There is a big question as to whether these lifestyle clauses are enforceable. One bride-to-be limited her future husband to watching one Sunday football game with friends a month.

Another marriage contract limited visits from the bride’s mother-in-law. An increasing number of people who co-parent even have special clauses that limit the amount of time their partner can spend online.

Florida Prenups

Many think prenuptial agreements are for the wealthy or famous. But, you don’t always enter a marriage with riches, or guarantees that the bliss will last. It might not be a bad idea to have a plan in place.

Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” are contracts entered into before marriage that outline the division of assets in case of divorce or death. They typically resolve things like alimony, ownership of businesses, title of properties, in addition to the lifestyle clauses of celebrities.

There are many other, more mundane, concerns that can be addressed in the contract:

  • Caring for a parent
  • Going back to school;
  • Shopping habits
  • Credit card debt;
  • Tax liabilities;
  • Alimony and child support from previous relationships; and
  • Death or disability.

Lifestyle Clauses

Arguments are a known predictor of divorce. In order to avoid that, it is better to discuss with each other the terms of a prenuptial agreement when times are good.

Difficult talks about lifestyle choices, in-law visits, and money can uncover things that could be disastrous if put off until several years into the marriage.

Outlandish demands, such as “no public dating” clauses, are much easier to secure in a celebrity relationship than that of the average case. Strange lifestyle clauses are unusual in your basic prenup.

But the issues are different for someone like Tom Cruise, who could put a clause like that in an agreement, and has the leverage to get it.

The Market Watch article is here.