After three years of marriage, former 90210 star Jennie Garth and her estranged husband, David Abrams, are divorcing. And according to recently released court documents, it looks like they signed a prenup.
Jennie Garth’s Prenup
Abrams filed for divorce from the 46-year-old actress in Los Angeles County, citing irreconcilable differences. According to court documents, the couple legally separated on August 29, 2017. Garth claims that she had Abrams agree to a prenuptial agreement prior to their July 2015 wedding.
Upon entering into a new marriage, there are a number of things couples in Los Angeles should consider, including the benefits of drafting a prenuptial agreement. There is no shame in taking the necessary steps to protect your assets before getting married. You work hard for your money and it is your right to safeguard your finances. In particular, business owners and other high net worth individuals who have substantial assets prior to marriage, as well as those entering into their second or subsequent marriage, should consider the wisdom of protecting themselves and their financial future with a prenuptial agreement. If you are entering into a marriage in Los Angeles with a prenuptial agreement, or if you want to challenge the terms of a prenuptial agreement in court, don’t hesitate to get legal help.
A prenuptial agreement, commonly referred to as a “prenup,” is a legal contract between two people about to get married that details how the couple’s assets will be distributed in the event of divorce or death. Prenuptial agreements are most frequently brought up in the context of a divorce or legal separation, when the couple is dividing up their property. However, a prenuptial agreement does not have to be viewed as a matter of distrust or discontent. Rather, it should be considered an equitable merger between two individuals who love one another and who want to protect their finances.
What is Determined on a Prenup?
For many couples in Los Angeles, a prenuptial agreement is a smart way for individuals with a high net worth or significant property to protect their premarital assets and plan for any unexpected issues in the future, such as divorce or death. Most people who opt for a prenuptial agreement owned businesses or other valuable assets prior to their marriage, whether it’s their first, second or subsequent marriage, and want to avoid having their property or assets divided up in divorce. Under the state of California’s community property provision, all assets and debts acquired in marriage belong to both spouses equally and must therefore be divided 50-50 in divorce. If a couple decides they want to handle their property division differently, they can make this known in a prenuptial agreement.
The matters addressed in California prenuptial agreements can vary, but typically include provisions for the division of community and separate property, including the right to buy, sell, lease or mortgage real estate, and the payment of alimony or spousal support in the event of a divorce. For example, a spouse who would otherwise be entitled to spousal support after a divorce can legally relinquish his or her right to future alimony payments in a prenuptial agreement. In some cases, a prenup may include terms for the forfeiture of assets if a marriage ends on the grounds of infidelity, further conditions of guardianship, or a requirement of confidentiality, post-divorce. A prenuptial agreement can set ground rules regarding a couple’s present and future property rights and other important marital matters, but it does not override the court’s power to control child custody and parental visitation rights, nor can it adversely affect a child’s right to child support.
Similar to a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement is also executed to settle a couple’s affairs and assets in the event of a divorce or legal separation. However, as the name suggests, a postnuptial agreement is written after a couple gets married, rather than before.
Preparing a Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements are about more than spouses attempting to withhold assets from one another in the event of a divorce. This type of contract is designed to control the outcome of any potential dispute that may arise should a divorce occur, especially among high net worth individuals, and is the best way to protect the finances of everyone involved, whether they own a business, have a higher earning potential, or expect a significant inheritance. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the execution of a prenuptial agreement, there are certain circumstances that affect the validity of a prenup. Under California’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), Los Angeles prenuptial agreements signed by both parties automatically go into effect when the couple marries, but in order to be considered valid and enforceable in court, the contract must:
- Be in writing;
- Be substantially fair when entered into;
- Be notarized;
- Fully disclose the assets and debts of each spouse; and
- Not be against public policy.
A prenuptial agreement can be prepared by either spouse in a relationship, though it’s typically the higher-earning spouse who has the prenup drawn up. Under California law, when presented with a prenuptial agreement, the other spouse must be given at least seven days to consult an attorney before signing the contract.
Los Angeles prenuptial agreements are complex and are considered legally binding contracts that can significantly affect your financial future should your marriage end in death or divorce. Prenuptial agreements are delicate matters and should only be prepared or reviewed by a Los Angeles family law attorney who is familiar with the relevant divorce codes and the intricacies of the California legal system.
People with significant assets who are planning to get married often decline to introduce a prenuptial agreement because they don’t foresee a negative outcome in their future, such as death or divorce, and they don’t want to sow any discord in their relationship. Unfortunately, foregoing a prenuptial agreement in Los Angeles can be devastating if a married couple ends up getting a divorce and having to split up their property and assets. If you are about to get married and you have significant assets, or you have been married before, it might be a good idea to have your spouse sign a prenuptial agreement to protect yourself and your financial well-being. On the other side of the coin, if your spouse asks you to sign a prenuptial agreement, it is your duty to contact an attorney to ensure you fully understand the terms of the contract as they apply to you.
Garth and Abrams on the Rocks
Garth and Abrams first met on a blind date on December 2, 2014 and were wed in an intimate ceremony in July 215. Around the time the couple was married, Garth described the relationship as “unreal” and “perfect.” But back in November of last year, a source close to the couple confirmed they were having a rough time but were trying to work things out.
No Children and No Spousal Support for Garth and Abrams
Garth and Abrams share no children together and it appears that Abrams will not be asking for spousal support.
What is Spousal Support?
Spousal support, more commonly known as alimony, payments are ongoing, periodic payments made from one spouse to another under a legal separation or divorce order issued by the court. Spousal support is intended to help an economically disadvantaged (or lower-earning) spouse continue to enjoy a similar standard of living after he or she is divorced. In most cases in Los Angeles, the spouse who earns a higher income is ordered by the court to pay alimony to the other spouse, though whether you are entitled to alimony in California divorce proceedings depends on a number of factors, including: your earning capacity, the length of your marriage and any documented history of domestic violence between you and your spouse. There are two types of spousal support in California:
- Temporary spousal support – Set at your initial hearing and paid until a complete agreement is reached, or until a Final Order of Divorce is entered
- Permanent spousal support– Paid for an indefinite period of time in an amount that can be modified later, if and when the financial circumstances of either spouse change
How to File for Spousal Support in Los Angeles
California is a no-fault divorce state, which means the spouse asking for the divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong; he or she must simply state that due to “irreconcilable differences,” the couple cannot get along. Similarly, under California Family Code § 4320, marital misconduct carries no weight when establishing the payment of alimony or spousal support after divorce. Spousal support is not intended to punish a spouse for misbehavior, nor it is meant as a reward for a spouse having endured mistreatment at the hands of his or her wife or husband during the marriage. The sole consideration for spousal support in Los Angeles is financial in nature, to ensure that both spouses can maintain a standard of living after divorce that is close to the standard established during the marriage.
To file for spousal support in Los Angeles, the party requesting the payment must ask the judge to make a spousal support order, and this order must be issued as part of either a divorce or legal separation, or as part of a domestic violence restraining order. You can either ask that the alimony be paid while the case is going on (temporary spousal support) or once the divorce or legal separation becomes final, as part of the court judgment (permanent spousal support). Under California law, spousal support payments are automatically terminated upon the death or remarriage of the supported party. In some cases, the spousal support agreements can be changed, if the spouse making the payments suffers a significant financial hardship, or if the spouse receiving the payments suddenly requires less support.
Free Divorce Consultation in Los Angles
Divorce proceedings are not always simple and straightforward, especially when children are involved. In many cases, the consequences of a divorce can affect a person for the rest of his or her life, possibly resulting in a significant loss of financial support or reduced child visitation rights. A qualified divorce attorney however, can help you navigate the complex intricacies of family law and can negotiate the best settlement on your behalf. For more information about California divorce law and the divorce process, contact Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles for a risk-free initial consultation. Our main goal as divorce attorneys is to help you evaluate your options under California law and make informed decisions that protect your interests and legal rights. Don’t wait to get help, call our Los Angeles legal team today at (213) 550-4600.
Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles
5455 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: (213) 550-4600