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Postnuptial or prenuptial agreement can avoid divorce contention

Although some celebrity divorces involve months or even years of bitter legal battles, the divorces of others may even provide valuable lessons to divorcing couples nationwide, including some in Texas. When Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith announced their intention to consensually divorce back in June of last year, many people were cynical about their ability to keep it civil. However, the couple showed that by the lack of a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement can resolve some of the issues.

According to reports, the property division of their accumulated assets over their almost 20-year marriage is split into two categories. Each spouse will keep the income from their respective entertainment projects in the first five years of their marriage from 1998 through 2003. But, according to what was reported to be a postnuptial agreement signed in January 2004, the income of both stars from the date of that agreement until their final divorce filing will be shared. Also, Griffith will receive $65,000 per month in spousal support -- unless she remarries.

Consensual agreements have reportedly also been reached about other assets. Reports indicate that some real estate has been sold, and the proceeds were shared, and businesses will be divided. The 58-year-old Griffith will keep one home, six vehicles, a Picasso, her jewelry and her clothes. The 55-year-old Banderas will get to keep one home, two cars, all his motorcycles, music equipment, electronics and a Picasso. The couple's daughter's expenses were paid by her father until she turned 19 last September, and he agreed to settle all her study bills until September 2021.

The manner in which this celebrity couple handled their divorce shows that divorces need not involve bitter battles. With the options of mediated or collaborative divorces and by careful drafting of a postnuptial or prenuptial agreement, property division can be navigated without the contention typically associated with divorces. However, to ensure smooth sailing through the legal proceedings, the support of an experienced Texas divorce attorney may be invaluable.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Antonio Banderas will pay Melanie Griffith $65,000 a month; their divorce is final", Christie D'Zurilla, Dec. 8, 2015

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