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Two actors on the hit television show ‘Vampire Diaries’ have finalized their divorce. The two were married for about two years before they obtained a legal separation and have been negotiating a divorce settlement agreement since this summer. The interesting element to this divorce agreement (which has now been made public) is that the two had a prenuptial agreement that kept all of their earnings completely separate and delineated between individual monetary contributions to various assets purchased during the marriage.

This is somewhat unusual since married couples will often combine some assets or share earnings made during the marriage. Along with that, a lesser earning spouse is often entitled to a lump sum settlement or spousal maintenance to help them maintain the lifestyle they enjoyed during the marriage.

In this case, the lesser earning spouse will not receive substantial assets that were purchased with her ex-husband’s money. Instead they will both walk away with the exact amount that they each contributed to purchasing the house, their own separate earnings, and they will split up the various vehicles that they owned together. The lesser earning spouse is walking away with much less money from the home and only one of the four vehicles they owned.

Prenuptial agreements are very difficult to overturn here in New York, with very little precedent to support reasons why a prenuptial agreement would be invalid, even if the end result seems unfair in the event of a divorce. That being said, there have been cases where a prenuptial agreement has been overturned over the smallest of formalities. This is why it is so important to understand a prenuptial agreement before it is finalized and signed and to consult with independent family law counsel to make sure your best interests are being represented.

Source: TMZ, “‘Vampire Diaries’ Star Divorce Final, He Vanted a Prenup… And it Paid Off,” Dec. 24, 2013.

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