William Shatner is divorcing from his fourth wife and gets to keep the majority of his $100 million fortune because, in entering into that undiscovered (well, to people other than him) country of marriage, he took an important vehicle: a prenup.
Apparently the prenup let him keep the lucrative Star Trek royalties that compose the bulk of his estate. That means that even though there was potential community interest in those monies, it was clearly his separate property. This was good planning.
Some people worry that a prenuptial agreement is not necessary because they’re not iconic Hollywood stars. But Tom Clancy was not always Tom Clancy and went from being an insurance payment to gazillionaire author. Who knows who will take that step in the future? Even people like first responders and military service members could end up involved in incidents that make their likeness rights a hot property.
Others say that a prenup is setting up for failure. That’s no more true than putting on a seatbelt is preparing to get in an accident. In California, all it takes is someone getting bored and filing for divorce to lead to you losing half of what you’ve taken years to build.
Don’t go warp speed into a marriage without making sure you’re protected if things go wrong.