More and more people have considered entering into a prenuptial (or postnuptial) agreement surrounding a marriage in recent years. The trend appears to recognize that although people intend to stay together forever, many marriages break down as time passes. A prenuptial agreement can be an important tool to avoid battles should spouses grow apart years down the road.
The hardest part about entering into a prenuptial agreement for many couples is approaching the topic. Notably, couples who are already married can enter into such an agreement after being married under New York law, and a prenup or postnuptial agreement can cover a wide variety of topics that can avoid disputes should the marriage break down.
When people who are engaged or newly married consider such a contract, the terms may be easier to hammer out than when attempting to negotiate terms after a marriage has broken down. A recent high profile divorce proceeding from the celebrity world sheds some light on the difficulties that can arise in the absence of a prenup.
When Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher married, sources say that Demi's career had provided her with more financial assets that her spouse. But during the marriage, a spokesperson for Demi says that she helped Ashton in his career. The two separated in 2011, and Kutcher filed divorce papers on the West Coast in December 2012. Demi says that she attempted to negotiate a settlement over property division for some time--but last week, Demi filed her response to the divorce in court.
The couple reportedly did not have a prenuptial agreement. Kutcher earns a great deal of money from his television role in "Two and a half Men." He also has a production company and other investments. He reportedly makes more than Demi. Kutcher reportedly took in around $24 million last year.
The financials are now apparently the center of dispute in the divorce proceedings. While the estranged couple has not been able to agree to settle the property division, sources say that Demi is seeking spousal support in her divorce papers.
Source: Examiner, "Demi Moore wants huge chunk of Ashton Kutcher's $100M fortune," Rachael Monaco, March 11. 2013