Some couples view prenuptial agreements as guarantee of a future divorce. That opinion is fading as more engaged couples seek out premarital agreements to solve money problems that could happen due to divorce or a partner's death.
Could the CEO of a firm worth billions of dollars escape paying spousal support if he shows a family court that he and his company are insolvent? That is exactly what the head of a financial services firm told a Texas judge in a battle over the executive's commitment to a prenuptial agreement.
The signing of prenuptial agreements is often associated with the protection of individual assets in case a marriage falters and ends in divorce. Attorneys agree that prenuptial agreements reduce time in court, but add that the agreements serve a larger purpose. Provisions within a prenuptial agreement address how marital assets are divided during a divorce settlement. The measures also may apply if one spouse dies.
A report from the Pew Research Center found that marriage rates have fallen to all-time low levels with the number of married couples only slightly greater than singles. Those who do marry are also tying the knot later in life. A companion study published in December probed the reasons why couples in Texas and elsewhere are hesitating to marry.
Wealth and fame do not guarantee that a spouse's divorce settlement is favorable or fair. Sometimes the mistakes of the very rich can teach those with fewer resources valuable lessons about settling property division during a divorce.