If you pay attention to pop culture, you probably have noticed the lack of celebrity weddings being planned for this summer. Perhaps no one wanted to be overshadowed by the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, or that marriage is no longer en vogue as it was a generation ago.
Regardless, news of celebrity prenuptial agreements has primarily been non-existent. For those unfamiliar with prenuptial agreements, they are essentially contracts that people seeking to get married enter into that established rules for how the parties will conduct themselves in the event of a divorce.
Marrying parties can agree to a number of terms in a prenup, including what will be considered community property as opposed to separate property, whether the parties will use mediation to resolve any disputes, and what state the parties will choose to be domiciled for purposes of filing for divorce.
Some prenups also govern how the parties will conduct themselves during the marriage. For example, a prenuptial agreement can establish penalties for infidelity by one of the parties.
While prenups may be more common in relationships where there is a severe disparity between income and assets (especially when one of the parties is a celebrity), but they are becoming increasingly popular among couple who are not celebrities.
So the question is, are prenuptial agreements useful in facilitating uncontested divorces?
Generally speaking, the answer is yes. As we alluded to earlier, a prenuptial agreement can have specific provisions that govern the process of the dissolution, so that everything can be agreed upon before filing a petition. Even more critical, the prenuptial agreement can mandate that the parties seek alternative dispute resolution (ADR) before filing a contested dissolution in court.
Of course, if you have differing views on what a prenuptial agreement can control, or if believe that your rights have been trampled upon and you believe the prenup is invalid, there obviously will be no uncontested divorce. In these instances, mediation may be an option before litigation is necessary.
The preceding is not legal advice. We encourage people with questions about prenups to consult an experienced family law attorney before signing one.