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Michigan Family Law Blog

Monday, February 4, 2019

The Importance of an Ironclad Marital Agreement

How can I ensure I won’t have to pay alimony in a divorce?

The late, great Elvis Presley once sung of a place at the end of Lonely Street called Heartbreak Hotel. And a while she might not feel so lonely she could die, his only child, Lisa Marie Presley, is reportedly going through a difficult divorce at the moment.

She married her fourth husband in 2006 and the couple had twin girls who are now ten years-old. After 10 years of marriage, the couple is in the middle of a contentious divorce. Miss Presley is reportedly now seeking a child custody order granting her primary physical custody of the twins. Previously, the children had allegedly been “under protective custody by the Department of Child and Family Services as part of a dependency court order that has since expired.”

In addition to child custody issues, their divorce, like many, involves spousal support, also known as alimony. Her husband has been fighting to receive alimony from the daughter and sole heir of Elvis Presley’s fortune originally estimated at approximately $100 million. She now claims the estate “dwindled down to just $14,000”. Generally, if parties can’t agree on alimony, the court weighs several factors in determining whether one spouse should pay spousal support. But in this case, the court can and did first consider the couple’s marital agreement.

Although the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement at the time they married, they did enter into a post-nuptial agreement one year into their marriage which reportedly provided that in the event of a divorce, the husband would not get alimony. The agreement was deemed “iron-clad” by the court when the husband—who was represented by an attorney for the agreement-- tried to have it declared invalid so that he could collect alimony.

Some couples find it awkward to ask for a prenuptial agreement, but may regret failing to do so prior to the wedding. For them, a post-nuptial agreement is a wonderful alternative—though the potential to walk away from the wedding if your partner won’t agree to it is not an option

If you are considering getting divorced in Michigan or are interested in a prenuptial agreement, Cameron C. Goulding Family Law and Mediation, P.L.C. can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our offices in Rochester, Michigan, we represent clients in matters of divorce and family law throughout Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Lapeer, and Genesee and Wayne counties.

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