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Johnny Depp's high asset divorce lesson for Pennsylvania couples

It seems like celebrities never learn. Year after year people in Pennsylvania read about one superstar after another getting married only to enter a bitter divorce a short time later with no prenuptial agreement in sight. Currently, actor Johnny Depp is facing a high asset divorce from which he stands to lose millions of dollars because he did not insist on a prenuptial agreement.

Celebrities and millionaires are not the only ones who benefit from  prenuptial agreements. If someone enters a marriage already having assets or expecting to make a significant income in the future, having a legal agreement offers some protection for those assets. These could be property, a business, or, in the case of older couples, retirement plans or investments. Young couples can also profit from prenuptial agreements by settling details early, like the repayment of student loans or compensation for a spouse who stays home to raise children.

If one or both of the partners already has children from past relationships, a prenuptial agreement can protect the inheritance of those children. Many states automatically consider the surviving spouse the sole heir of any assets, even if the children of the deceased are mentioned in a will. A prenuptial agreement can require the surviving spouse to waive his or her right to contest the provisions for the children.

Prenuptial agreements are not only for a high asset divorce like Johnny Depp's. Any couple in Pennsylvania would do well to consider thinking about these difficult decisions early in the relationship. Because it is a contract, each partner should have his or her own lawyer who can help make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Taking care of these affairs before the wedding may save long and contentious battles in the future.

Source: itemonline.com, "Not having a prenuptial agreement may sink Captain Jack Sparrow", Sam A. Moak, June 12, 2016

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