At seems like every day, there’s a news flash regarding celebrity breakups. Whether it’s a sports star, Hollywood actor, famous musician or a millionaire – celebrity breakups are nothing new, but seem to be happening at an increasingly alarming rate.
Split-ups and divorces are not immune from celebrities. We love reading about them and often mock them for getting what they deserve, even during their emotional lows.
But maybe we can all learn something from these public, celebrity breakups. Hillel L. Presser owns The Presser Law Firm, P.A. and represents both businesses and individuals, helping them establish comprehensive asset protection plans.
Asset protection is an often overlooked aspect of managing one’s personal wealth. Attorney Hillel Presser believes we also can all learn something from our heroes. He states, “Whether you rejoice in seeing how the mighty have fallen or you truly empathize with their pain, celebrity divorces remind us of at least one thing: it can happen to us.”
From dealing with prenuptial agreements and other divorce issues, there is a silver lining if you can get help to prevent major financial issue down the road when things don’t go your way.
Below are four key areas to be consider when planning your own Asset protection. Learn from other celebrity breakups and don’t make the same mistakes.
1) Write a post-nuptial agreement:
Even if you’re married, most states allow for these post-nuptial agreements. Married spouses may want to contractually agree on how they’ll divide their assets should they later divorce. As with pre-marriage agreements, the enforceability of the post-nuptial agreement requires the agreement to be fair; that both spouses fully understand the agreement; that neither party defrauded the other; and that each party had independent legal counsel.
2) Insist on a pre-marriage agreement:
This is a written contract between intended spouses. It specifies how their property and income will be divided in divorce. Pre-marriage agreements – or premarital, prenuptial or ante-nuptial agreements – aren’t only for the wealthy. Every couple could use one. It’s their most efficient, equitable way to settle matters in advance of a future divorce. Pre-marriage agreements resolve many issues less easily reconciled by divorce courts.
3) Don’t cohabit without a cohabitation agreement:
Many couples now live together without marriage. Some want to test their relationship before they marry. Seniors live together because marriage would disqualify Social Security or pension benefits. Others want to avoid the financial responsibility of marriage, or they don’t want to commit to the care of an ill partner. More than a few want to avoid the legal and financial complications from marriage – particularly when one party has substantially more wealth.
4) Divorce-proof your assets with an international trust:
A spouse can put his or her assets beyond the reach of the divorce court with an international asset protection trust. Those anticipating a divorce can shelter their assets in off-shore asset protection trusts. They must disclose the trust assets to the divorce court, but the court cannot recover or divide these assets. However, such maneuvers do not ensure victory. Divorce courts can award the victimized spouse more U.S.-based assets to compensate for the trust-shielded assets. Or, compensation may be awarded via alimony or support. But such asset protection is useful for those with few remaining assets in the U.S. and one’s income is too small for the court to score through an excessive alimony award.
Presser encourages us to always plan ahead, even for the worst. “Divorce can happen to anyone. While you may not suffer the same kind of public humiliation as a public figure, it’s still very painful – and, it can cost you your life’s work in assets.”