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Absence of prenup may lead billionaire to lose half his fortune

Pennsylvania residents should be aware of the importance of a prenuptial agreement before marriage. They should understand that prenuptial agreements will avoid future complications should a divorce occur. A prenuptial agreement will prevent the possible loss of valuable assets in divorce proceedings, as may occur in the case of billionaire Stewart Rahr.

Sources confirm that Mr. Rahr's wife is seeking a divorce after 43 years of marriage. And in the absence of a prenuptial agreement, the billionaire may be required to pay half of his $1.6 billion fortune to her. According to sources, the billionaire, who never wanted a divorce precisely because of its expense, may need to pay as much as $800 million to his wife as part of the settlement. Other assets include a large apartment in Trump Tower in New York City and a home in the Hamptons valued at $43 million. These assets may also come into play as part of a property division settlement.

Although Mr. Rahr's lawyer has claimed that his client wishes to proceed with the divorce amicably and is confident he will remain on good terms with his wife, the absence of a prenuptial agreement may raise many issues and leave one party in the proceedings legally vulnerable.

The situation just presented could have been prevented had a prenuptial agreement been created. Such an agreement would specifically decide how assets and income of either spouse should be divided in the event of a divorce. Moreover, a prenuptial agreement could legally separate properties owned, gifted, or inherited by either party prior to entering the marriage or prevent properties owned after the date of separation from becoming jointly owned properties. Similarly, debts, if any, could be kept separate and spousal support limited or waived.

A diligently drawn up prenuptial agreement not only makes property distribution easy in divorce but also helps the divorcing parties to protect their assets. It helps to avoid high legal fees, the stress involved in property distribution, and confrontational battles.

Source: dailymail, "Billionaire's divorce payout to his wife of 43 years could be as much as $800 million as there is no prenup," Dec. 5, 2012

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