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Richard Gere divorce highlights the importance of prenups

Following a 12 year marriage, the divorce proceedings between actor Richard Gere and actress Carey Lowell have gotten ugly as the ex-couple try to split an estimated $100 million dollar fortune. Gere is best known for his work in "Pretty Woman" and "An Officer and a Gentleman". Lowell is best known as the Bond girl from the film "Licence to Kill". As a high profile couple involved in a high net worth divorce, it is important to recognize the benefits of creating a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage.

Although thinking about the possibility of divorce prior to a marriage may seem like a self-fulfilling prophecy, creating a prenuptial agreement can be mutually beneficial to both parties in the event of a divorce.

A prenuptial agreement can help protect each spouse from the other's previous debts; protect family property such as a heirloom, family business or future inheritance; and allows a child from a previous relationship to still be entitled to the spouse's property or investments. A prenup also allows the couple to outline and develop a property distribution plan. This could help avoid a bitter fight, as Gere and Lowell are facing now, down the road.

Although the importance of a prenup for high asset couples cannot be understated, it is worth noting that prenuptials can also be beneficial to any couple on the verge of marriage, regardless of their financial situation. Each state has different laws with regards to prenuptial agreements. It may be wise to seek professional help to assure that a prenup has been properly crafted to make it legally binding.

Source: New York Post, "$100M at stake in bitter Richard Gere divorce", Julia Marsh, May 1, 2015

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