Prenuptial agreements have grown in popularity in recent years. This is, in part, because Americans are waiting longer to enter into first marriages, which usually means that each spouse has acquired some personal assets that they want to protect if divorce ever becomes necessary.
These contracts are very customizable and can be suited to the needs of each couple. And while they primarily govern matters of property division, a recent news story of a celebrity divorce shows that they can also contain more personal provisions.
Comedian Tracy Morgan (of Saturday Night Live fame) recently announced a pending divorce from his second wife, with whom he shares a young daughter. According to news sources, the couple has a prenuptial agreement in place. And it may contain a provision demanding that Morgan’s estranged wife Megan drop his last name upon getting divorced.
It’s not uncommon for women who took their husband’s last name to want to revert back to their original surname upon divorce. But in light of how personal a name is, many believe it should be the woman’s choice to change her name back – and only her choice. And to be clear, while we use the term “woman,” this applies to anyone, male or female, who takes on their spouse’s surname or decides to hyphenate.
Many of us get married early in adulthood, when we are just starting out professionally. If a spouse who adopted a new surname becomes professionally known by that name or has other attachments to it, they may not want to change back to their original given surname. Such a scenario seems less likely in the case of Tracy Morgan’s divorce, since the couple was only married for five years, but Megan is the only who could say for sure.
Demanding a name change may not be the best use of a prenuptial agreement, but these contracts are useful in many other ways. And they are growing in popularity among couples across the United States (not just the rich and famous). If you have questions about prenuptial agreements, name changes or any other family law matter in North Carolina, contact our firm to speak to an experienced family law attorney today.