Florida and world headlines are full of what-ifs concerning the marriage of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and Priscilla Chan. The couple's marriage occurred at a supposed graduation party for Chan and took place the day after Facebook went public. Questions are swirling about the existence of a prenuptial agreement that would protect Zuckerberg's vast fortune. However, even without a prenuptial agreement, his fortune appears to be well protected in the event of a future divorce.
Reports place his worth at approximately $20 billion, making him one of the richest men in the world. The state they married in is a community-property state, meaning that should they divorce, they will each be entitled to half of anything that is earned over the course of the marriage. Zuckerberg's property before they got married would remain his own.
Even if the shares of Facebook increase in the future, they would still be considered separate property unless Zuckerberg combines them with jointly owned assets. If he deposits the shares into a joint account, it could likely be construed as community property. However, any stock options for Facebook are different and could be deemed community property. Depending upon several factors, his wife may benefit if those options make money in the future.
Much depends upon the existence of a prenuptial agreement, which many people believe is highly likely to exist. A prenuptial agreement can be an extremely important document if a couple's wealth is significantly uneven prior to getting married. Florida residents may want to consider discussing a prenuptial agreement in order to help protect their income and assets.
Source: FOX8, "Where Would Zuckerberg Stand If There Is No Prenup?" Jessica Dickler, May 21, 2012