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A fine day to end a marriage

The titles of some of the movies hint at the decline and fall of a marriage: “He’s Just Not That Into You,” “State of Play,” “Extract” and “Man About Town.” All of those Ben Affleck movies have been released in the past decade; the period during which he has been married to Jennifer Garner.

The couple recently announced their coming divorce; the joint announcement came one day after their tenth wedding anniversary. Coincidence? Probably not. A Forbes columnist notes that there are good reasons to wait a decade and a day to announce a divorce.

Columnist Jeff Landers of Forbes notes that there are often psychological reasons involved in divorce announcement decisions. Ten years represents a good, round number; an indication of a solid, long-lasting effort at making the marriage work.

However, there can also be significant financial reasons involved, especially in a high-asset union such as headline-making Garner-Affleck marriage. While Landers does not know particulars of the power couple’s prenuptial agreement, in similar substantial-assets marriages, prenups are a routine component of the union.

A prenup can have a sunset provision that frees a spouse from paying alimony after a certain period together, or conversely, a spousal support provision might only go into effect after 10 years. Or the provision might state that a spouse receives a greater (or lesser) amount of financial support after a tenth anniversary has passed.

For couples with fewer movies and millions to their credit, things such as Social Security and military benefits can loom large on a tenth anniversary. An eligible spouse receives Social Security benefits based on the other party’s earnings — but only if they were married at least a decade.

Some military benefits are likewise shared after a 10-year anniversary and not before, Forbes notes.

You can discuss the protections a prenuptial agreement can afford you with an experienced Clark County family law attorney. In many cases, prenups play important roles in preventing problems for business owners, house owners, blended families and people with significant financial holdings.

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