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$9.9M Mansion Sale Highlights Importance of Same-Sex Prenups

December 30, 2016, In Family Law

In November of 2016, a video of Ellen DeGeneres received the Presidential Medal of Freedom went viral. The video, showing the comedian in tears, celebrated DeGeneres’ courage in coming out as a gay female almost two decades ago.

But that is not the only news story that has gone viral about DeGeneres. A perpetual and never-ending rumor which continues to circulate year after year is that DeGeneres is about to divorce her wife, Portia de Rossi, whom she married in 2008. Despite appearing together publicly time and time again, the couples’ recent selling of one of their properties is thought to be due to an impending divorce.

Marital/Community Property Vs. Separate Property

While the reason why DeGeneres and de Rossi sold their mansion remains a secret, many speculate that it is so that the couple can begin dealing with delegating marital assets.

This brings up the issue of marital property when compared to separate property, and why a prenuptial agreement in Los Angeles for same-sex couples is just as – if not even more – important for same-sex couples as for opposite-sex couples.

  • Marital/Community Property: This is generally everything that either spouse earned or acquire throughout the duration of the marriage (unless you had another agreement). For example, money made while married and put in a joint bank account to pay the mortgage, utility bills and other household bills would be marital property. A vehicle and other property which was purchased from that account would also fall under this category.
  • Separate Property: Separate property is a property that belongs to only one spouse. This is typically property owned or acquired before the marriage, property which was acquired during the marriage in the name of one spouse and never used to benefit the other, and inheritances which were received before or during the marriage.

Why a Same-Sex Prenuptial Agreement Is Important

Unlike opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples have often been cohabiting for a significantly longer period of time due to the tumultuous same-sex marriage laws here in California and in other states throughout the country. This means that, as a couple, same-sex partners may have jointly acquired a substantial amount of property and other assets while not legally married.


Michael Whitmarsh at WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC  has been providing divorce law services in the Los Angeles area since 2008. Our Family Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA offers a variety of services including ensuring that couples are provided with legally binding and fair same-sex prenuptial agreements in Los Angeles.

To speak to an experienced family law attorney today, please call (310) 552-3505.

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If you are considering a Divorce in Los Angeles, CA, Contact our experienced Attorney Today and Get a Free Consultation.

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