Texans probably feel like they are constantly inundated with news about celebrity breakups. Some may find it entertaining and amusing, while others may be annoyed. Yet, these instances can actually be educational as well. For example, look at the recent divorce filing for Hollywood couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. The couple recently filed for divorce, with the papers being submitted exactly 10 years and one day after their marriage. It may seem like a coincidence, but there may actually be a good reason for the timing.
Under California law, a marriage may be deemed long-term if it lasts for 10 years or more. This is important because a long-term marriage that ends may give rise to an increased alimony obligation. This could explain why the couple has been separated for months, but official divorce papers were not filed until the 10-year mark was reached.
The couple’s prenuptial agreement also could have given rise to the divorce’s timing. Some agreements promise one spouse a specific amount of support for each year of marriage, meaning that one of the spouses could have waited until the 10th year’s completion was reached to ensure more support.
Though this couple may seem powerful and likely has a significant amount of assets, their situation highlights how important it is to know the law and how it can provide protection. Those considering marriage, for example, may want to consider having a prenuptial agreement crafted, which can protect rights, protect assets and prevent alimony disputes. Though it may seem like a simple document to create, a seemingly minor slipup could render it void. Therefore, it is often best for these agreements to be discussed with and created by a competent attorney.
Source: Fortune, “What we can learn about prenups from the Ben Affleck-Jennifer Garner divorce,” Laura J. Vogel, July 4, 2015