Recent news reported that Kelly Clarkson was awarded her Montana Ranch (worth an estimated $10 million dollar value) during her divorce. In Kelly Clarkson’s case, the court upheld what is called a prenuptial agreement between Clarkson and her husband and rejected the husband’s contention that the Montana ranch was marital property. Kelly Clarkson’s pre-nup served its purpose and she got to keep the ranch. Further, the pre-nup saved Kelly Clarkson a lot of money since the parties do not have to continue litigating the ranch ownership issue.
A pre-nup (short for pre-nuptial agreement), is sometimes called an ante-nuptial agreement or pre-marital agreement. Whichever term is used, a pre-nup is a written contract signed by the parties before they are married. The advantage of a well-drafted pre-nup is that you can protect the assets that you bring into a marriage and therefore minimize the costs of a divorce. With pre-nuptial agreements you can contract to agree as to certain things that you may/may not be able to obtain in court in a divorce proceeding.
The pre-nup should contain complete financial disclosures and not be signed under any form of duress in order to be enforceable. You want as much time as possible between the execution of the pre-nup and the date of marriage as possible. If you have any questions about pre-nuptial agreements do not hesitate to contact the experienced lawyers at Mackey Law Group!