There are headlines all over the Internet about how Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos are getting divorced and do not have a pre-nuptial agreement. Granted, there was no way they could have imagined that their fortune would be at valued at approximately $137 Billion. I guess this is good news for MacKenzie as she can make a claim for a significant portion of the couple’s assets. Click here to read one of the articles with a little more background on the Bezos’ situation.
Is there a lesson to learn from the Bezos marriage? Maybe, maybe not. Of course, most people do not go into a marriage expecting it to end. That said, and as we all know, there are no guarantees and marriages break up as much as they last. Asking your potential spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement is a personal choice and should be considered by every individual prior to entering the contract of marriage.
Obviously, if somebody is entering a marriage with a certain amount of wealth, they may consider ways to protect that wealth. In addition to protecting assets, we see clients all the time that want prenuptial agreements going into a second marriage especially where kids are involved. Also, prenuptial agreements are being used to protect business owners and/or family inheritances.
While the courts are generally supportive of prenuptial agreements and will enforce them should they be entered into properly, parties entering into them should be represented by competent lawyers. The court may set aside agreements that were not entered into without having full disclosure or are unconscionable to one of the parties. New Jersey statute requires that parties have counsel, or waive their right to counsel, and provide full and complete disclosure of all assets and income to have a valid prenup. Couples need to plan early, are advised to use lawyers, and execute the agreement in a reasonable time before the marriage.
For more information about this blog or other divorce, matrimonial or family law issues contact me at email@example.com.
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