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Law Offices of Regina M. Taylor, P.C.

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by Regina M. Taylor, J.D.

With the 2016 Presidential campaign season under way, you cannot help know who Donald Trump is.  The majority of the news centers around his political statements and his wealth.  I decided to look at his divorces and analyze what we can learn from them.

Donald Trump inherited a small portion of his wealth from his father, but the majority of his wealth he earned through his businesses. Donald Trump is currently married to wife number three.  Other than marrying Donald Trump, his wives have another thing in common: they all signed prenuptial agreements.  In 1991, his first wife Ivana Trump after some negotiations  received a divorce settlement of $14 million, $350,000 per year in alimony, $300,000 per year in child support, and a 1987 Mercedes Benz.   The second wife Marla Maples signed a prenuptial agreement that outlined the divorce settlement that she would receive if the marriage ended in divorce before year five. Based on that agreement, she received a $1 million payment, property, and child support for their daughter.   

  Most people think you have to be wealthy to have a prenuptial agreement.  Actually, if you own any property before your marriage, one spouse's earnings are far greater than the other, or you have children from a prior relationship, a prenuptial agreement may not be a bad idea. I understand. You are in love.  The doves are flying and the harp is being played whenever you see your fiancé'.  A divorce is the last thing from your mind.  However, it is widely reported that between 31% to 50% of marriages end in divorce and that this figure does not vary much for Christians.   So a divorce is not that out of the question. 

A prenuptial agreement is an agreement signed by a man and woman before marriage which outlines the distribution of their property in the event of a divorce and/or death of one of the spouses.  In North Carolina, this agreement has to be in writing, entered into before the marriage, and must be signed by both parties in front of a notary public.  The persons considering a prenuptial agreement can negotiate the terms of the agreement.  For example, the agreement can provide that any property owned before the marriage remains the property of the person who owned the property prior to the marriage. Also, the agreement can provide exactly what and how the property accumulated before the marriage will be distributed between the parties in the event of a divorce.  Another provision commonly overlooked consideration is whether any financial support or alimony will be paid to a  husband or wife in the event of a divorce.  

In the unfortunate event that the marriage ends in divorce, a court will enforce the terms of a valid prenuptial agreement.  An invalid agreement is an agreement where:
1. The parties' did not have their own attorneys or have the opportunity to seek independent legal counsel;
2. Either or both of  the parties did not both sign the agreement in the presence of a notary public;
3. One of the parties was not give the opportunity to read what they were signing. Or the papers were presented to them at the last minute to review and sign.;
4. One of the spouse's was forced to sign the agreement against their will;
5. The agreement was not signed before the marriage; 
6. Both parties did not fully disclose all of their assets;
7. The agreement attempts to waive a spouse's obligation to pay child support;
8. The agreement includes a provision that is simply against the law; and 
9. Any other terms that are against public policy. 
A valid prenuptial agreement can save the people involved a lot of headache and money in the event the marriage ends in divorce.

Finally, it is best not to make the drafting of your prenuptial agreement a do-it-yourself project.  You should consult an experience divorce attorney.  I am always willing to help of course.

© 2015 Regina M. Taylor .  Attorney Regina M. Taylor is a North Carolina Attorney.  If you have any questions about this article or  have suggestions for future articles, you may contact Attorney Taylor at 704-861-0700,  toll free at 866-501-2098 or  
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Happy Veterans Day! #veteransday  
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It's National Adoption Month. Check out my latest blog post, 3 Common Myths About Adoption
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This free event will provide you vital information to begin your path to infant adoption, the roles involved, how to pay for your adoption, and more.#adoption
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Same Sex Couples Can Now Adopt in North Carolina
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Congratulations to our newest adoptive parents

Glynn & Tiffany, a son William, born July 8, 2015

Janet, a son Lucas, born July 20, 2015
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