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Affleck and Garner and prenuptial agreements

An Alabama spouse who is near the 10th year of marriage may have a number of incentives to stick out the marriage until he or she hits the decade mark. In addition to being eligible to draw off a former spouse’s earnings record for Social Security benefits, 10 years often indicates that it was a long marriage. This distinction can sometimes result in a family court deciding to award spousal support at a higher rate and for a longer duration than a shorter-term marriage. Additionally, 10 years often has important implications regarding prenuptial agreements.

Perhaps proving this point is the impending divorcez between Hollywood stars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. Although media speculation is that the couple has been separated for months, Ms. Garner only filed for divorce the day after the couple shared their 10th wedding anniversary.

Some have theorized that the timing was no coincidence. This is because many prenuptial agreements include provisions regarding the length of the marriage, such as providing a stated amount of support for each year that the couple was together.

However, prenuptial agreements are not only for the wealthy. They are often used when someone may have assets that they do not want to be subject to distribution upon a divorce. They are also used when one of the spouses has children whose share of an estate they wish to protect. Creating a valid and effective prenuptial agreement requires that the parties fully disclose their assets and debts to the other. Additionally, the prenuptial agreement should be entered into with adequate deliberation. It is recommended that, when such an agreement is being considered, the parties should be represented by separate legal counsel.