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6 Reasons You Need a Prenup

Tabloid headlines are showing up in Chicago. The top is the divorce between billionaire investor Ken Griffin and Anne Dias Griffin in Chicago.  All the fireworks center around their prenup signed 11 years ago.

The Griffins tied-the-knot at the Palace of Versailles just outside of Paris. Then began a two-day party which featured entertainment by Donna Summer and Cirque du Soleil.

According to Anne, Ken filed for divorce recently as she was heading out of the country on business. Ken notified the press about the divorce petition and then emailed Anne to let her know. With Anne out of the way, Ken then sent movers into the house Anne and the three children shared and started hauling out art and furniture.

In response, Ms. Griffin filed a petition in Cook County court demanding dismissal of the couple’s prenup, claiming she signed it under duress. The prenup that she signed requires her to waive her rights to property and financial help.

Ms. Griffin claims Ken gave her a copy of the prenup just before the wedding and didn’t have the opportunity to review it and negotiate it.

Not every couple that gets divorced will have the assets and property the Griffin’s owned. Even so, it could be wise to consider agreeing to a prenup before saying the “I do’s.”

Some possible reasons to get a prenuptial agreement include:

Forced to Look at Your Finances

Many divorces happen because of financial problems. A prenup forces both parties to look at — and reveal — their financial picture. An open discussion about finance may help to build a firm foundation for marriage.

You Have More Dollars Than Your Partner

If you have demonstrably higher income than your soon-to-be spouse, you may be worrying about what will happen if the marriage lands on the rocks. Usually, the things you owned before marriage will still be yours after the divorce. There are exceptions. By planning ahead about the disposal of specific properties, time — and stress — can be saved.

Your Partner Has More Income Than You

If your take-home is far less than that of your spouse, it could be wise to make sure you’ll have support in the future. Agreeing ahead of time on the amount, duration and type of alimony, the prenup can help secure your financial future.

Business Owner

Owning a business before being married could be reason enough for a prenup. If the marriage fails, a person could find themselves forced into the position of giving up their business to their soon-to-be ex-spouse. Without a prenup, business partners could find themselves being partners with someone they don’t’ want.

Raise the Kids

It’s not that uncommon that one partner will stop working outside the home to focus on raising the children. If divorce happens, the stay-at-home parent can find it difficult to jump back into the business and work world. The custodial parent will probably get some form of child support, but child support will end when the children are 18 and it was never meant to be the sole source of income in the first place.

Buried Under Debt

If your partner has a thing for credit cards, you could find yourself responsible for debts you didn’t know existed. If your partner has ran up charges on their plastic — or other types of debt — you could find that you may be expected to help shoulder the debt load.

Bonus Reason — The Dog

For many couples the family pet becomes part of the family. People love their pets and often couples look at their pets as surrogate children. So what happens when that furry or feathered creature gets tied-up in a break-up?

As the divorce rate continues to increase, “pet prenups” are becoming popular. Legally, ownership of a pet is considered equal to owning a television or the refrigerator. It depends on who bought it.

Disputes over the family pet have become so extreme that one divorce case in New York saw an entire day in court devoted to the couple’s dog.

In today’s culture, getting a prenup tial agreement can often be a wise move. Talking to an experienced attorney can help smooth the decision process and also write a prenup agreeable to both parties.


Bruce Provda

Bruce Provda became an attorney in New York back in the 1970s. Bruce is a graduate of Long Island University and subsequently, of the Hofstra University School of Law. He is a member of the New York Bar City Association as well as the Brooklyn Bar Association, Family Law Section. Provda… MORE >

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