Nobody in Orange County, California wants to lose his or her possessions in a divorce. However, such circumstances may occur once the couple files for divorce. Typically, ending a marriage means dividing all the marital property and assets acquired by both spouses, which may lead to conflicts and disagreements on the part of both spouses. However, these challenges may be avoided with a prenuptial agreement.
Most high-net worth couples in California, such as celebrities and business tycoons, sign a prenuptial agreement to protect their assets and other valuable properties from property division in the divorce. The recent divorce news of an oil billionaire and his wife stresses the importance of a prenuptial agreement. Reportedly, the divorce of Harold Hamm from his wife Su Ann Hamm may prove to be an extremely expensive divorce settlement if the existence of a prenuptial agreement is not established.
Reportedly, the tycoon's wife filed for divorce in May 2012. The wife alleged that her husband was having an affair, which she discovered in 2010. The couple married in 1988. If the couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement, Hamm may have to pay his wife five billion dollars. Supposedly, his worth is $11.3 billion. The divorce may also impact Hamm's oil company and force him to sell some of his shares for the settlement.
High-profile divorce cases highlight the importance of a prenuptial agreement. Because divorcing couples have a number of assets and properties acquired during the course of the marriage, protecting the assets through a prenuptial agreement is critical.
A prenuptial agreement may safeguard a person's assets and properties and make the person exempt from property division. The debts incurred by the other spouse may also be included in the prenuptial agreement so that the other party may not be obligated to pay the first spouse's debts. This agreement may also clarify the financial responsibilities of both spouses.
Source: Global Post, "Billionaire oil tycoon Harold Hamm facing the most expensive divorce in history," Ellen Connolly, March 22, 2013