Megan Fox’s divorce from her husband of 12 years, Brian Austin Green, is finally reaching its conclusion. The couple has reached a divorce settlement two years after Fox first filed for the split at the end of 2020. As of early February, a California judge signed their petition, and the pair is officially divorced and ready to move on with their lives.
The Fox-Green divorce is an excellent learning opportunity for other people considering starting or ending a marriage. The couple has done some things well, and others less so. Understanding their situation can help you make better choices in your own relationship. Here’s what you need to know about Megan Fox’s divorce, what she did right and wrong, and how you can avoid making her mistakes.
Understanding Megan Fox’s Divorce
First, let’s start with some background on the Fox-Green split. The pair has been in an on-and-off relationship since 2004 when Fox was just 18 and Green was 31. They officially got married in 2010, and Fox first filed for divorce in 2015. However, in 2019, after no progress, she called off the split. However, a year later, she filed for the second and final time.
The couple has three children, ages 9, 7, and 5. In terms of assets, the couple had a lot to consider. Fox is regularly seen in movies, commercials, and other media, while Green is a former Beverly Hills 90210 star that continues to see royalties. Furthermore, multiple houses, cars, and other tangible assets had to be assigned during their split. So, how did this all legally shake out?
What She Did Right
For celebrity divorces, the Fox-Green split was relatively unpublicized. This was partly due to the couple’s decision to settle out of court. As a result, the specific details of their breakup have remained private instead of becoming a matter of public record through the court system.
This is an excellent solution for keeping a divorce low-profile. Without the details making their way into public court documents, tabloids can’t write articles about Fox or Green’s net worth, properties, or arguments.
Custody was also handled well. In Fox’s original divorce petition, she requested joint legal and physical custody of the couple’s three children. This has been upheld in the court’s final decision. It’s not clear whether either party will be paying child support, but that wasn’t up for negotiation in the first place. Child support in California is determined by strict calculations, so the couple would need to abide by the state’s guidelines either way.
What She Did Wrong
Fox’s biggest mistake in her marriage was her failure to get a prenuptial agreement. While the couple has not made any statements on this choice, Fox was just 21 when she got married. Common reasons younger people choose to forgo prenups include the idea that they aren’t romantic, a lack of knowledge about these contracts, or pressure from older partners to ignore contracts that may benefit them.
Whatever the reason for the lack, not having a prenup may have been a major reason why the divorce took so long. Without a prenup, California requires divorcing couples to split all marital assets equally between themselves. That means that the pair had to negotiate ownership of every asset and piece of property they owned.
Similarly, the couple would have to negotiate alimony from the ground up. There’s no law requiring alimony to be awarded in California unless one party requests it. There aren’t any strict alimony guidelines, either. If either of them had wanted alimony, the lack of a prenup made it that much harder to get it.
What Might Have Changed with a Prenuptial Agreement
The one change Fox might have made to streamline the process would have been to get a prenuptial agreement. A prenup takes the work out of the divorce process in many ways. There’s no need to negotiate or debate over any assets covered by the prenup. The contract explains precisely how those items should be divided, dramatically cutting down the time it takes to settle a divorce.
A prenup could have helped Fox and Green maintain their personal assets with less stress. They both have significant royalty and intellectual property (IP) rights to their names. Having a prenuptial agreement would have given them better protection for their personal IP, ensuring that the other person wouldn’t walk away with the results of their hard work.
What to Do If You Don’t Have a Prenuptial Agreement
If you’re in a situation similar to Megan Fox’s former marriage, you have options. Even if you don’t have a prenuptial agreement, you can still put a contract in place to make a potential future divorce easier.
Fox had that opportunity, too. She could have taken the time between calling off the split in 2019 and filing for divorce again in 2020 to put together a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial contract covers the same subjects as a prenup. The only difference is that it goes into place after a couple is married.
You can use a postnuptial contract in your relationship to accomplish several goals, such as:
- Protecting your intellectual property
- Setting up conditions for alimony payments if you divorce
- Assigning assets to you and your spouse in advance
Basically, if your marriage doesn’t feel stable, a postnuptial agreement is an excellent way to prepare for the worst before you choose to break up. If you decide to stay together, you’ve lost nothing, but if things do end, you’ve saved yourself a significant amount of time and stress.
Learn from Megan Fox’s Mistake and Get a Pre- or Postnuptial Agreement
Whether or not you’re already married, it’s wise to have a pre- or postnuptial contract in place, just in case. These agreements streamline the divorce process dramatically and give both parties valuable protection. Megan Fox could have saved months by signing a prenuptial agreement before her wedding or setting up a postnuptial contract after calling off the first divorce.
You can learn from her mistakes. Get in touch with an experienced divorce and prenuptial lawyer today to discuss setting up one of these contracts. You can protect yourself and your partner from the worst the future can throw at your relationship with a single contract.