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How prenups can reward those who stay in long-term marriages

While Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck's recent announcement that they were divorcing received significant media attention, many of the details remain unknown to the public. This, of course, has given rise to speculation from Hollywood tabloids to serious financial publications.

The timing of the divorce filing, reportedly by Garner, was announced just one day after the couple's ten-year anniversary. That is of particular interest in part because they had reportedly been living apart for months. Some legal and financial experts say that the timing may be because under California law, 10 years is considered a long-term marriage, entitling the spouse with less income to greater spousal support for a longer period.

Another possibility is that the two had a prenuptial agreement. Some prenups are written to provide additional money to one spouse if the couple makes it to the decade mark. Others stipulate that for each year a couple is married, the amount of money awarded to the spouse with less money increases by a particular dollar amount.

Many people associate prenups with people like Garner and Affleck who went into the marriage with considerable wealth. However, they can be just as important for anyone who brings assets to a marriage that they want to protect.

The number of prenups has increased by almost two-thirds in recent years. Some attorneys expect an additional uptick now that gay couples who have been together for many years can get married nationwide.

Just having a prenup is not enough to protect your assets. It has to be done right. Otherwise, it may not be worth the paper it's printed on. Attorneys emphasize the importance of finding out exactly what assets your future spouse has. Being <a href="/Family-Law/Prenuptial-Postnuptial-Agreements.shtml" target="_blank">up front about your own assets</a> is also essential. This can take some time. One attorney recommends that clients take about six months to finalize a prenup. It's not something to put in front of you intended to sign the day before the wedding. Finally, you want to ensure that it is done correctly and in accordance with state law. A simple error can invalidate it.

Most people who are getting married don't intentionally try to hide assets from their partner. Sometimes people forget about old accounts or aren't aware of benefits to which they're entitled. That's why due diligence on both people's parts is essential. An experienced Texas family law attorney can guide you through the process.

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