It might be difficult to fully appreciate the true value of a prenup until one is needed. Soon-to-be-married couples in Oregon often have trouble foreseeing a future where any type of marital agreement would end up being useful. However, famous couples who split without prenuptial agreements might provide cautionary tales to those who still view them as mostly unnecessary.
Reese Witherspoon is perhaps most well known for her roles in “Legally Blonde” and “Walk the Line,” the latter of which she snagged an Academy Award. Her ex-husband, Ryan Philippe, also has a few starring roles under his belt, but nothing that compared with Witherspoon’s fame. As their marriage progressed, Ryan’s film earnings hit a steady $2.5 million for every film, while Witherspoon was earning up to $20 million for every role she played. When their marriage ended in divorce after seven years, half of Witherspoon’s marital earnings were entitled to go to Philippe.
A famous Beatle also suffered the consequences of refusing to ask his second wife for a prenup. Paul McCartney wed Heather Mills in 2002 when he had a net worth of about $660 million. McCartney and Mills, an environmentalist, later divorced, and Mills was entitled to $35 million of her ex-husband’s fortune. It is unclear why after this experience McCartney went on to marry his third wife without a prenup in place.
One of the biggest mental barriers that must be overcome is understanding that prenuptial agreements are not an indicator of a future divorce. Couples in Oregon will continue to marry and split up whether they have legal protections in place, but it does not necessarily have to be this way. By protecting certain assets and accounting for future possibilities, newly married couples can start off their lives with a better understanding of their joint assets and plans for the future.
Source: Fox News, “Pop-U-List: 6 stars who maybe should have gotten pre-nups”, Dorothy Cascerceri, June 3, 2016