Prenuptial agreement upheld in divorce proceedings

A carefully worded prenuptial agreement is almost always a prerequisite for wealthy couples before either will say "I do." While a marriage might of course start out based on deep and true love, the future is impossible to predict, and people can be shaped and changed by unforeseen circumstances. When a vast amount of wealth is on the line, protecting it in the event of a divorce simply makes sense. However, having a prenup will not necessarily keep a couple out of court, as one partner might choose to challenge the agreement's terms or validity.

A multi-millionaire outside of the state of Colorado recently filed for divorce from his wife, who believes that the terms of their prenuptial agreement should not be upheld. According to the 2007 agreement, in the event of a divorce the wife and the couple's two children would move into an apartment while the husband still maintained ownership of the title, which is worth $8.7 million. The wife would be required to leave the residence after the children had grown up and moved out.

Additionally, his ex-wife would receive a flat $1.6 million in the form of an investment fund, but nothing more. According to the prenup, asset division and alimony are completely off the table, an implication with which the wife took issue. She argued that the agreement should be found invalid based on a number of factors, including the fact that she had been pregnant at the time and felt as though she had been forced to sign it against her better inclination. She also claims that her husband did not disclose the entirety of his wealth, purposely concealing at least some of his income.

Ultimately, the court sided with the husband and decided to uphold the prenup. In general, a litigant in Colorado must provide substantial and convincing evidence to a judge before a prenuptial agreement can be rendered invalid during a divorce. As such, it is usually in a couple's best interest to give careful time and attention to the process of drafting and executing an agreement that both parties find agreeable.

Source: New York Daily News, "Hedge fund manager wins right to deny wife of alimony, kick hero out of lavish NYC home", Barbara Ross, Jan. 28, 2016

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