Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been at the forefront of tabloids lately with news of their pending divorce. Even our CEO, Amber Kelleher-Andrews, opened up to The Morning Show about her 2005 prediction that their relationship would face many challenges, including the pressures of celebrity, competition in the film industry, and even health concerns related to Jolie’s double mastectomy in 2013. While Pitt and Jolie have faced adversity from the start, their split will be eased by an ironclad prenuptial agreement.
TMZ reports that the power couple’s prenup details exactly what will become of their collective $400 million estate, including all 12 of their combined properties – many of which were purchased by Pitt and Jolie individually before they became a couple. It begs the question: is a prenup a sign of trouble ahead – or is it merely a smart decision for couples who want to protect their assets? We did the research for you and found some unexpected results related to prenuptial agreements.
Do Prenuptial Agreements Predict Divorce?
There is no clear way to predict divorce until it happens. Attorney Cheryl L. Young of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller in Norristown, PA reminds us that prenuptial agreements are smart for most marriages that involve significant assets. “The reality is that many marriages end in divorce, and of those that don’t, 100% end in death. In either case, there are assets to be distributed.” A prenuptial agreement is simply a legal document that allows you to have control over your assets in the event of a life change – whatever that may be.
What do Prenuptial Agreements Cover?
Prenups can be as detailed as you need them to be. In many cases, they cover not just divorce, but also the division of assets in the event of a death, how to handle premarital debt, or even how trust funds will be managed. Custody of children cannot be determined within a prenup, as that decision is made solely on state guidelines. This is where experts say Pitt and Jolie will be at odds: Jolie has requested full physical custody of the couple’s six children, while Pitt has resolved to fight for paternal rights.
Is a Prenuptial Agreement Right for Me?
The truth is that everyone has a prenup whether they know it or not. The only question is whether you and your partner make these decisions together when you first get married or if the state decides everything for you in the event of a split in the future. The state’s decision is a type of prenup, but one that is completely out of your hands.
Couples who get married for the first time and share few or no assets generally do not need to worry about creating a prenup. These legal agreements are more commonly accepted in high-powered relationships as a way to protect each party – not from each other, but from losing control over their assets. Young explains, “It provides certainty for both parties and protections that go beyond the laws governing the division of assets.”
So, yes: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt had a prenuptial agreement right from the beginning of their relationship, but that does not mean their romance was doomed – it means they were smart. They knew their relationship came with risks and chose to protect themselves with a fair and legally binding agreement that would be in both of their best interests.
True love takes many different forms – and yes, a prenup can be one of them. Our matchmaking services can offer guidance for like-minded couples who understand the importance of asset protection. Follow us on Facebook to learn more about smart relationship planning for the modern age.