Property Settlement and Prenuptial Pitfalls
Divorce is a fact of life these days. Prenuptial or premarital agreements try to anticipate who gets what in the event. The parties also can come to a property settlement agreement during divorce (or let the judge divide the property). In either case it pays to be specific and definitive.
- Property settlement a key element of divorce
- Who gets what can be agreed to before marriage or during divorce
- Nasty disputes can arise from vaguely-worded settlements
Spinoff/Sequel – Same Diff/No Diff
Witness the divorce agreement inked by actor Michael Douglas and his ex Diandra. She gets half his take of "spinoffs" of any work he did during their marriage. Back in the day Mike starred in the film "Wall Street." Now, he’s reprising his role as Gordon Gekko for "Money Never Sleeps." She claims it’s a spinoff, and wants half of what he gets for it. He calls it a sequel and tells her to pound sand.
This case might come down to hair-splitting intellectual property law concepts. But it proves that you can’t be too specific in drafting the terms of property settlement or prenuptial agreements. Most of us don’t have to worry about splitting future movie revenues. Plenty of more mundane stuff can fall through the cracks though if you’re not careful.
The last thing you want is to head back to court to litigate a property dispute that should have been settled in advance. Contracts attorney James Martin offers these tips for drafting a settlement that’s, well, settled.
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