Today’s couples are understanding more and more the importance of a prenuptial agreement. With the way trends are, most couples will end up divorced. This is true no matter how happy you are during the time of the engagement and the relationship prior to the wedding vows.
Celebrity couples have been including an important clause in their prenuptial: the lifestyle clause. This clause outlines the penalty paid to the faithful spouse if the other partner is proven to be unfaithful. The amount has ranged from $500,000 to $5 million for some of the more notable couples, like Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
For you and your partner, keep in mind that certain factors like the length of the contract and whether the infidelity can be proven factor into whether or not the money is paid. Also, remember that the judge can rule in favor of the other partner and choose not to uphold that particular clause.
Still, if you are engaged, now is the time to craft a prenuptial agreement if you are planning that special walk down the aisle. Consulting an attorney like the experienced counsel in the Law Office of Anne Dowden Saxton can help you better understand the laws and the important clauses to include in a prenuptial agreement.
Understand When a Prenuptial Agreement Will Come in Handy
The first thing to remember is that a prenup will be important in the instance that your divorce is a fault divorce. That means one spouse is found to be at fault for the failure of the marriage and the resulting divorce. Situations like infidelity are common in fault divorces.
It is common to pursue a no-fault divorce in today’s world, where divorces are increasingly more common and people want them to be over with as quickly as possible. Therefore, some people craft a prenup with this in mind. They also include the lifestyle clause simply as a way to deter the other partner from being unfaithful. For that reason, it can be a challenge to convince a judge to uphold that particular clause.
Cases Where Prenuptial Agreements Were Upheld
In cases where the infidelity can be clearly proven, the lifestyle clause may be upheld. It may not be upheld however, even in those cases when the clause interferes with the no fault divorce as outlined in the law of that particular state.
Meanwhile, for some spouses, the amount received for infidelity when proven can be significant. A wife who proved her husband was unfaithful received $20 million in property because the lifestyle clause stated she would be entitled to the husband’s US real estate holdings if he were to be unfaithful.
Infidelity also can be difficult to define in a manner that all parties agree on, and therefore it can be difficult to prove that infidelity occurred. Counsel can better help you understand the various ways infidelity can be defined and what may or may not be considered an unfaithful act in court. Get in touch with a reputable lawyer today, like one of the counsel at the Law Office of Anne Dowden Saxton. They will be able to help you better word the clause in your prenup and be prepared in the unfortunate event that your marriage comes to an end as a result of infidelity.