Celebrities are great sources of information when it comes to learning the dos and don’ts of divorce. This month’s divorce “instructor” is Britney Spears.
DO Have a Prenuptial Agreement:
Britney got this one right. If you know you have substantial assets, or have a strong possibility of obtaining substantial assets (e.g. a future inheritance, company stock options), consider entering into a prenuptial agreement with your potential spouse before you tie the knot. (This is often the case in second marriages).
People often complain that prenups are “not romantic.” I happen to believe that a full-blown war over major assets is even LESS romantic, so it’s generally best to try to avoid that. (And I’m guessing that if you asked Paul McCartney his opinion on prenuptial agreements, he would concur with me.)
DON’T Build Your Spouse’s Custody Case:
Be careful — the days when mom was automatically awarded full custody of the children are ancient legal history. In most states, judges now lean toward some type of shared or joint custody arrangements. When there is a dispute concerning custody, judges now examine the competency of BOTH parents.
So keep in mind that driving with a baby on your lap (even if you are being “chased” by paparazzi), and late-night, scantilly-clad partying with your latest “BFF” (Best Friend Forever), are not the types of things that make you look like a good parent in court.
There is no question that parenting becomes even more challenging when one is going through a divorce. Still, this is no excuse for sabotaging your custody case.
Britney, thanks for the lessons.
WENDY JAFFE, Esq. is the author of “The Divorce Lawyers’ Guide to Staying Married.” You can get more of Jaffe’s advice and hear a podcast interview at AOL.com, and you may also visit her website at divorcelawyersguide.com.