Relationships can be complicated at the best of times. Any divorce is likely to be difficult for both parties, especially in cases in which wealth is involved. In California, the existence of a prenup may be something that assists in the case of a high-net-worth divorce. One such instance is currently playing out between actress Kaley Cuoco and her estranged husband, professional tennis player Ryan Sweeting.
The couple dated for only a few months before their marriage at the end of Dec. 2013. Even though it was something of a whirlwind courtship, the couple had the presence of mind to have a prenup drawn up, which was signed some six weeks before their wedding day. Unfortunately, the marriage did not last, and Cuoco filed for divorce less than two years later. No details have been released regarding the division of marital assets; however, there are a few details that have emerged which appear to deviate from the terms of the prenup.
It has been reported that Cuoco stated in her divorce petition that spousal support and the division of assets were controlled by the prenup, in addition to a clause requiring each spouse cover his or her own legal costs. It has been suggested that Sweeting is requesting that Cuoco pay him spousal support, in addition to paying his legal fees and waiving any rights she may have in claiming spousal support from him. California has rules that generally support the validity of well-written prenups. Despite the brevity of the marriage, it is still possible that changes could in fact be made to some of the original prenup’s terms, depending on the case Sweeting’s team puts forward.
In cases in which one spouse has more valuable assets, it makes sense to keep a clear head before marriage and protect them as far as possible with a prenup. Ensuring that both parties have their own attorneys can reduce the possibility of any conflicts later. If, at the time of divorce, one spouse’s circumstances have altered significantly, it may help if one finds an attorney who is able to make a strong case for a revision of the original terms, especially if the marriage lasted a long time.
Source: Forbes, “Can Ryan Sweeting Score Spousal Support From Kaley Cuoco? The Truth About Prenups“, Danielle and Andy Mayoras, Oct. 21, 2015