The Facebook wedding of Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan raises eyebrows, with curious timing.
Last week, Facebook CEO married his long time girlfriend –but everyone knows that already. The curious timing is that he married her after becoming a billionaire 19 times over. Adding another curious fact is that the wedding was a backyard ceremony attended only by 100 or so of Zuckerberg’s friends. Those close to the couple say that they’ve been together for a decade and there’s no reason to doubt that this marriage will work out. Chan, who just graduated from Medical school, is regarded as a genius, much like her husband.
The couple dated throughout the development of Facebook, which means she is no bimbo. In fact, before she agreed to move in with him she knew how to negotiate a “relationship contract” to protect her interests (Chan allegedly had Zuckerberg sign a relationship contract years ago, which called for, amongst other things: one date per week, a minimum of a hundred minutes of alone time, not at the apartment and definitely not at Facebook).
Was there a prenuptial agreement? Sources say yes, which some say was rather detailed. Though generally the law says that everything owned or acquired by a couple during a marriage is split into two, in case of a divorce. Some point out that the two are too much in love to ever think of divorce –after all, they’ve been through their first “baby”: Facebook.
Some say, however, that the timing of the wedding is strange; mostly because he took his company public a day before his wedding (read about the Facebook IPO). Under California Law, whatever Zuckerberg earned before his wedding is solely his. Thus, he solely holds $17-19 billion; however, the law is rather murky about the profits and assets gained during the marriage.
For instance, if his company grows after going public, the grey area will be how much is due Priscilla should they divorce, or if anything is due her at all from the company going public a day before they were married. The subject has been a favorite debate, though rather nasty, of some property divorce lawyers. Some say that any proceeds/profits acquired by Zuckerberg’s company after the marriage means 50% for Priscilla; other lawyers say that any money coming from Facebook prior to the marriage is his sole property.
Some have speculated that Priscilla may have substantial Facebook shares though this has not been confirmed or denied. As lawyers debate all this, what becomes obvious is that these two people love each other.
Immediately after they were married, they both changed their Facebook relationship status to MARRIED.
Both Chan and Zuckerberg are smart, intelligent, young professionals who know by now that life isn’t always a bed of roses. In this case, having a prenup means being pragmatic.