The Chicago Family Law Blog

Jesse James Engaged to Kat Von D: Prenup Up Next?

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Big news in the Hollywood version of ex-husbands behaving badly. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the baddest ex of them all, Sandra Bullock's former husband, Jesse James is going to try it again. James is reportedly engaged to tattoo artist and LA Ink star Kat Von D (real name, Katherine von Drachenberg).

Under the heading of "why should Chicago care about the romantic musical chairs in Hollywood," anyone considering marrying when they carry personal wealth or property into the union should think about a prenuptial contract. A prenup, so a part of our pop culture make-up these days, is often dismissed by "regular" people as something only folks like Kat Von D should think about. This is not always the case.

What if you are heading to the altar and your current job is being a successful part of your family business? Or, what if you inherit your grandmother's home just before you marry? According to FindLaw, a prenup is often used to set out terms for how a separate business or real property might be distinguished from the general assets that would often be effected by a divorce.

And then, like many regular folks, Jesse James will be bringing his kids from previous relationships to his new marriage. A prenup is often used to provide for children from previous marriages who might or might not be covered in a later child support agreements. Other issues a prenup can address for non-TV stars include: savings contributions, arranging putting one or the other through school, holding yourself not responsible for your partner's debts and distinguishing between separate and joint property.

Of course the laws regarding marital assets and agreements vary from state to state. California, Jesse and Kat will no doubt remember, is a community property state. Back in Chicago, if you believe one of the listed issues might give you a reason to consider a prenup, talk to a family law attorney to discuss your options.

Best of luck to Jesse and Kat. Maybe the 4th time's the charm.

Related Resources:

  • Can Prenuptial Agreements Help You? (FindLaw)
  • Sample Premarital/Prenuptial Agreement (FindLaw)
  • Prenups in the Downturn: Make Them Flexible (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)

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