Last week supermodel Heidi Klum's divorce from singer Seal became final. Klum and Seal first began dating in 2004 (while she was pregnant with her daughter Leni from former boyfriend Flavio Briatore) and married on May 10, 2005.
The couple had three biological children together: son Henry Gunther Ademola Dashtu Samuel (born 2005), son Johan Riley Fyodor Taiwo Samuel (born 2006), and daughter Lou Sulola Samuel (born 2009). Seal officially adopted Leni in 2009. Klum filed for divorce in April 2012. The couple went against the standard advice for high-earning professionals and married without a prenuptial agreement; however, they did sign a postnup at some point during their marriage. The agreement kept much of their earnings separate and prevented each party from seeking spousal support. Klum's net worth is estimated at $70 million and Seal is worth a reported $15 million. The details of their custody arrangement are being kept confidential, although Klum has repeatedly called Seal a devoted father in past media interviews.
A postnuptial agreement is just like a prenup, except it is drawn up after the couple is already married. It outlines rules for determining the ownership of assets, whether each party wants to preserve a right to seek spousal support, and any special considerations regarding the children. It cannot, however, be used to limit child support, as parents are not permitted to bargain away this right on behalf of their children.
For a postnup to be valid, it has to be willingly signed by each spouse. Each spouse also needs his or her own legal representation, due to the inherent conflict of interest in having the same attorney represent both parties.
In addition to correcting the mistake of marrying without a prenup, a postnup can be useful in addressing changing circumstances in the marriage. For example, a woman might use a postnup to protect herself after quitting her job to be a stay-at-home mother. Postnups are also commonly drawn up after one spouse's infidelity in order to provide a financial penalty for any further indiscretions.
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If you have questions about creating a postnuptial agreement, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com to speak to one of our Pasadena family law attorneys.