In the wake of the news of Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux’s separation after two and a half years of marriage, the former couple now face the unpleasant task of having to divide their assets and shared property. But what about Aniston’s huge diamond engagement ring?
“The engagement ring pre-dates the marriage, and therefore is Jennifer’s separate property regardless of whether it is mentioned in the prenuptial agreement,” says L.A.-based attorney and certified family law specialist David Glass, who’s not involved with Aniston and Theroux’s split. “As long as the parties get married, then the recipient keeps the engagement ring.”
Aniston previously told the New York Times that the huge diamond sparkler, estimated at around eight carats, took some getting used to.
“It’s a rock, I know,” she admitted. “He rocked it up. It took me a while to get used to it. I’m not a diamond girl,” she added. I’m more Indian jewelry and stuff.”
The couple became engaged on Aug. 10, 2012 after more than a year of dating. Theroux popped the question on his birthday and Aniston was photographed wearing the rock in question nearly two months later when Theroux visited her on the Santa Fe set of We’re the Millers. The couple announced their separation last Thursday.
As for the rest of their assets, the couple are believed to have kept their properties (including Aniston’s $21 million L.A. estate and Theroux’s New York City apartment) in their own names. Aniston’s fortune is estimated by Forbes at $200 million. Glass notes that the impending division of assets depends largely on the details outlined in their prenup.
“It’s likely that they had a prenuptial agreement that preserved the separate property value of any pre-existing, premarital assets and the increase in value of those assets,” he says.
When it comes to the rest of their joint property, Glass says that the only items up for division would be things like joint bank accounts and any property they bought together.
“It is likely that because they are both high-income earners with their own careers that their prenup also protected earnings from during the marriage, as separate property,” he says. “So with a prenup like that the only community property to be divided in the divorce would be things that were put into joint names, and those jointly-titled assets and joint accounts would be split on a 50/50 basis.”