From Bonds to Zuckerberg: The Importance of a Prenup in the Silicon Valley

Posted May 29, 2012 in Family Law by Lonich and Patton.

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May 29, 2012
From Bonds to Zuckerberg: The Importance of a Prenup in the Silicon Valley
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Will Mark Zuckerberg join the list of billionaires who tied the knot without prenuptial agreements?

Mark Zuckerberg is making national headlines for his marriage that took place on May 19, 2012, just one day after the initial public offering of Facebook. The mystery remains: do Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have a prenup? All are in agreement that Zuckerberg would be better off with a prenup. Chan reportedly asked Zuckerberg to sign a relationship agreement before she moved to California several years ago to be with him, which outlined, for example, how much time they should spend together. It would not be surprising if she brought up the subject of a prenup first. However, celebrities such as Paul McCartney, Katy Perry and Mel Gibson chose to forgo a prenup. It’s easy to get caught up in the romance of a marriage, but it’s important to mix in a little realism.

California is a community property state, meaning that assets are typically divided 50-50 upon divorce. If Zuckerberg and Chan signed a prenuptial agreement, they would have agreed exactly how to split assets, including his Facebook stock, if their marriage dissolved in the future. The resounding principle behind prenuptial agreements is spouses themselves can determine how their property will be classified; they can agree that what would generally be classified as community will be separate property of one or the other, and conversely, they can change separate property to community property.

The current trends toward delayed marriage, cohabitation, rising divorce and remarriage rates have combined to create a new awareness of the seriousness of the marital contract and the far-reaching consequences that contract, once made, can have on individual lives. Lonich & Patton can assist you in understanding your legal rights, and help you protect your family.

The Certified Family Law Specialists* at Lonich & Patton have decades of experience handling complex family law matters.  If you are interested in learning more about prenuptial or antenuptial agreements, contact the Certified Family Law Specialists*  at Lonich & Patton for further information.  Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results.  While this post may detail general legal issues, it is not legal advice.  Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.

*Certified Family Law Specialist, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

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