Prenuptial agreements are drafted in order to ease the financial concerns at the end of a marriage. A properly drafted agreement sets precisely how much each spouse is to receive in a divorce, along with any conditions that may affect the division of property. Any disputes over the agreement could lead to litigation, however, as one of the spouses attempts to have the agreement invalidated.
One example of the extensive legal battles that can occur is evident in a divorce case involving a 79-year-old Austin resident. Remarkably, the divorce has spanned 12 years, involved at least six lawyers and gone before a half-dozen judges. The primary reason behind the extensive court case is a prenuptial agreement of dubious validity.
The conditions of the prenuptial agreement were clearly laid out when it was signed by both litigants, and upon their 2001 divorce, the husband duly paid the monies stipulated in the agreement. The lawyer responsible for drafting the agreement was convicted for practicing law without a license, however, which allowed the 74-year-old wife to challenge the agreement and ask the court for alimony.
In the agreement, alimony was waived in exchange for a one-time payment of $100,000. The wife was offered $250,000 in an attempt to end the case several years ago, but the offer was rejected, with a reported demand of $1 million instead.
This case shows the importance of competent legal representation when entering into any contract. Even with a prenuptial agreement in place, the smallest irregularity can result in extensive litigation. While this couple’s marriage was dissolved in June 2001, the court battle over assets continues long afterward, demonstrating some of the difficulties that can arise during high-asset cases.
Source: Opposing Views, “Rosendale v. Rosendale: Divorce case stretches to 12 years,” Greg Hardesty, Sept. 6, 2012