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Prenuptial agreements and the Garner/Affleck divorce

Georgia residents may have read media reports during recent months speculating that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were likely to divorce. The prominent Hollywood couple removed doubt by announcing their plans to split on June 30, and the timing of the news has generated a new wave of conjecture. The announcement came just one day after the couple's 10th wedding anniversary, and many legal experts believe that Affleck and Garner waited until this date due to the terms of a prenuptial agreement.

Prenuptial agreements sometimes contain clauses that are triggered after the marriage has endured for a certain amount of time, and some legal experts believe that this may have motivated Affleck and Garner to put off filing for divorce. Prenuptial agreements have long been viewed as a tool used by the wealthy to protect themselves from the financial fallout of a divorce, but a 2013 survey of American divorce attorneys revealed that the popularity of these arrangements is soaring.

Drafting a prenuptial agreement is often a delicate process, but complete disclosure is crucial if the resulting document is to withstand legal scrutiny. While the courts have generally looked upon prenuptial agreements kindly, they have been ruled invalid in cases where one or both of the spouses involved concealed assets or the process was rushed into at the last moment.

A family law attorney may recommend a prenuptial agreement for a number of reasons. Having such an agreement in place could help a marriage to withstand adversity by removing suspicion and doubt. However, a prenuptial agreement could also provide very tangible benefits. Spouses who run companies may find it easier to attract investors or enter into joint ventures when they can show that their business arrangements will not be greatly affected by a divorce.

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