Arizona readers may be aware that the announced divorce plans for Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore have dragged on for almost a year now. It was reported that, on the weekend of his sixth wedding anniversary last year, Ashton had a one night stand with another woman. In Nov. 2011, Demi announced she was pursuing a divorce. Currently, Ashton is rumored to be dating his former “That ’70s Show” co-star, Mila Kunis. All signs point to the fact that Ashton and Demi have moved on, and yet there is still no sign of any formal divorce filings.

Some observers of celebrity breakups are asking what the delay is all about. There is no outward indication that the couple is considering reconciliation. Rather, some say the snag has to do with money. In view of the fact that Ashton made a reported $24 million last year, money may well be at the root of it all. Understandably, any high asset divorce negotiation involves a number of delicate financial matters. In the case of Ashton and Demi, there is no mention that a prenuptial agreement exists.

The traditional marriage vow of “til death do us part” seems to be in need of an upgrade. The Arizona marriage that many believed would be a lifetime union has often turned out to last no much beyond lunchtime. The simple fact of the matter is that about half of all marriages result in a divorce. Many of those end within the first seven years. The question that some are asking across the country is what, if anything, should we do about it?

Prenuptial agreements have filled the void for many. These contracts, which are negotiated and signed before the wedding takes place, can cover everything from expectations during the marriage to property division and other financial commitments if a divorce subsequently appears on the horizon. Still other people have belatedly recognized the benefits of a prenup, causing them to accomplish pretty much the same thing by executing a postnuptial agreement. This contract is signed after the wedding, sometimes even in contemplation of an impending divorce

It may be no surprise to Arizona readers that the seemingly never-ending divorce between former MLB owner Frank McCourt and his ex-wife, Jamie McCourt, is headed back to court. The west coast divorce was all signed, sealed and delivered. Jamie is now alleging fraud or mistake and wants the divorce proceedings reopened. She claims that the property division was ultimately unfair because Frank sold his share in the Dodgers for far more than the estimated value of the team that was used during divorce negotiations.

According to Jamie, her ex-husband represented during their divorce negotiations that the Dodgers’ franchise was worth less than $300 million. She claims that she agreed to a $131 million payout to settle their two year long litigation, based on the valuation figures represented by Frank. Once the divorce was final, McCourt is said to have later sold the MLB team for a reported $2.15 billion, from which McCourt purportedly netted about $1.7 billion.

Benjamin Franklin is usually credited with being the first to note that death and taxes are the only things certain in life. A cynic might add divorce to the equation, though the most often cited statistics indicate that just about half of all marriages result in divorce. While an Arizona divorce may not be a foregone conclusion, what is certain is that it will trigger some tax ramifications. Those negotiating a final settlement of their marital dissolution would do well to consider the potential impact on tax obligations going forward.

We often hear about contracts signed between two people preparing to get married in Arizona. Called prenuptial agreements, these contracts envision what is to happen in the event the parties later decide to divorce. And with some estimates indicating that just about half of all marriages end in divorce, the notion of a prenuptial agreement has become more commonplace in our society.

The decision to divorce in Arizona and elsewhere is often a painstaking one made over months, if not years. While the absence of minor children might make it easier, even in those circumstances it takes most people a good while to be certain of what it is that they wish to do. Kim Kardashian raised eyebrows last year when she decided to divorce NBA star Kris Humphries after a marriage of a little more than two months. For entirely different reasons, reality TV star Evelyn Lozada quickly decided to call it quits with NFL star Chad Johnson (formerly known as Chad Ochocinco) after only 41 days.

We have spent a fair amount of time on this blog focusing on the issues presented for an Arizona couple contemplating divorce. While there are financial and emotional considerations that permeate the process, one obvious result of a divorce is being free to pursue other relationships and perhaps even another marriage. Occasionally, a couple that was previously divorced decides to tie the knot all over again, and that may give rise to additional legal considerations. It was recently reported that a couple who divorced some 48 years ago have decided to try all over again, to the delight of their three remaining adult “kids.”

When Arizona spouses begin divorce proceedings, there is a seemingly endless list of topics which must be negotiated. Even when the divorce is not contested and both parties work together to reach a mutually agreeable end to their marriage, it is still important to ensure that all details are ironed out before the divorce is finalized. One issue that is often overlooked is term life insurance.

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