Patrick Dempsey May Pay Dearly for Failing to Prepare a Prenup


Pasadena divorce attorneys always recommend that their clients take the time to prepare a prenup. Even if it doesn't seem very romantic to discuss your potential divorce before you even walk down the aisle, a prenup is the best possible way to protect yourself no matter what the future holds. It appears that actor Patrick Dempsey is finding this out the hard way. His wife, makeup artist Jillian Fink, filed for divorce on January 23 after citing irreconcilable differences.

Dempsey's net worth is currently estimated at $40 million. The actor earns $350,000 per episode for his work as Dr. Derek Shepherd in Grey's Anatomy. Since the couple had no prenuptial agreement, California's community property law states that Fink is legally entitled to half of everything earned during their 15 years of marriage. This includes all of the earnings from Grey's Anatomy, which premiered six years after the couple married.

Dempsey and Fink are the parents of three children: 12-year-old Tallulah Fyfe, and 7-year-old twins, Sullivan Patrick and Darby Galen. Fink is requesting custody of the children, as well as child support, spousal support, and payment of her attorney's fees. Although Fink has a stable of A-list clients and her own high-end cosmetics line, her earnings are still significantly less than those of her husband.

A prenup offers several vital benefits:

  • The ability for both parties to waive the right to spousal support
  • Preventing one party from being forced to pay the other's debts
  • Protecting a previously established business
  • Clarifying an inheritance as a separate asset
  • Protecting previously accumulating retirement and/or education funds
  • The ability to provide for children from previous relationships, if necessary

One thing a prenup can't do, however, is determine issues relating to the care of children from the marriage in the event of a divorce. Issues such as child custody, visitation, and child support must be decided in accordance with state laws.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you are in need of legal representation or have questions about how California's community property laws will affect your divorce settlement in the absence of a valid prenuptial agreement. Our Pasadena divorce law firm can help you receive a settlement that will protect your long-term financial interests.