Equitable Distribution States
Divorce in an Equitable Distribution State: If you do not have a prenuptial agreement, the law allows a family court judge to determine, based on his judgment, an equitable distribution of the marital assets at the time of divorce. Marital assets comprise everything acquired by either party during the marriage except as acquired through gift or inheritance. A judge will look at the totality of the marital assets (and liabilities) and the situations of the individual parties, including a history of the marriage, grounds for divorce, behavior of the parties’ and determine an equitable distribution.
Lawyers in equitable distribution states are more likely to incite acrimony and fuel battles to prolong the divorce process to earn larger fees. If one party (perhaps the husband) can be made to appear abusive a larger part of the marital assets will be awarded to the other non-offending party. Lawyers have been known to motivate ladies to fabricate/exaggerate the history of the couples relationship and consciously replace fact with fantasy with the intent of obtaining a larger award of the marital assets and at the same time earning the lawyer larger fees.
Alimony applies: If you do not have a prenuptial agreement, alimony can be awarded depending upon individual circumstances and your spouse’s earning ability. You could be required to pay alimony for a limited or indefinite period of time.
Example of Acrimonious Divorce: The longest, most-expensive divorce trial in United States history concluded in October 2007, after legal fees had exceeded $13 million. The trial between Westport Connecticut luxury travel entrepreneur Peter Tauck and his now ex-wife Nancy ran for 86 full days. During that time, over 100 witnesses were called, 42 volumes of filings were made and legal fees of $13 million were collected by lawyers.
While the case involved an extremely bitter divorce and child custody, attorneys for both spouses would later face reprimands from the court for unscrupulous behavior.
A properly prepared and executed prenuptial agreement will eliminate all of the above.