Many people think that they don’t need a prenup unless they are the higher earning spouse, but Bay Area divorce lawyers know that this is not the case. It is impossible to predict what the future holds. A man who vastly out-earns his wife when they walk down the aisle may find that she ends up being the breadwinner when he is unexpectedly laid off. A wife who earns more when the couple marries may decide she wants to take time off to stay at home with her children, thus making her financially dependent on her spouse.
The recent divorce of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore provides the perfect example of how role reversals can happen in a marriage. Demi earned more when the couple tied the knot, but Kutcher’s career has taken off in recent years while hers remains at a standstill. Estimates place Kutcher’s earnings at $12 to $13 million per year, compared to $5 million for Moore. Additionally, Kutcher is said to have made several smart investments in tech start-up companies and has a $20 million per year contract for his role on Two and a Half Men. Since California is a community property state and the couple does not have a prenup, Moore is presumptively entitled to 50% of whatever Kutcher made during the marriage.
An invalid prenup is just another piece of paper. Experienced divorce lawyers will strongly recommend that both parties have legal counsel when drafting and negotiating the prenup. Having just one attorney handle the prenup increases the chances that the prenup will be no good. There is an inherent conflict of interest between the soon to be spouses, and an attorney generally cannot represent two competing parties, who each have exactly opposite interests, at the same time. Additionally, there can’t be any coercion involved. A prenup that is not signed willingly could be set aside. Waiting until the last minute (less than seven days before the wedding) to ask your future spouse to sign the agreement may create a legal presumption that the prenup is invalid.
If you have questions about whether or not your prenup is enforceable, it’s best to speak to a qualified divorce attorney in San Jose. There are many variables to consider when challenging a prenup, so it’s crucial to have an experienced lawyer on your side.