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PostPosted: January 13th, 2005, 4:58 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2003, 9:52 am
Posts: 1874
This was submitted to Angela anonymously via email. Please help her if you can.

My husband made me sign a prenuptial agreement stating that
anything that is not in my name I will not be able to take with me if we were to divorce and if anything is in my name that it is only half mine. It states that I relinguish all rights as a widow. My husband and I were arguing one time about divorce and he told me that he shouldn't tell me but he would still have to give me 10 or 20 thousand to help me get set up if were to divorce him.

I want to divorce him because he has been very very cold and stingy with me. He has miserly saved up 175 thousand and has more than that in assets with very little debt. I have been married to him for 9 years and I want to know what my rights are. He does not want the divorce. He knows that he has been in the wrong and now says that he wants to make it right but he has killed my feelings for him. There has been virtually no affection with
him for the past five years. What if he fights the divorce? I am so tired of his manipulating ways. I need another car badly. I now drive a car that was given to my husband. It has 180,000 miles on it.

Does anyone have information on prenuptial agreements? I live in Kentucky.

ADVICE: Do not sign a prenuptial agreement. It just proves that he is not ready to be a real husband to you!!! It will keep you feeling like you are less than him continuously, especially when you see that he is being very miserly with you while all of his needs are met! And let me give you a hint...the way he is before you marry him will be the way that he will be when you marry him.


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PostPosted: January 14th, 2005, 1:36 am 
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Joined: December 15th, 2004, 7:47 pm
Posts: 17
Location: California
I am not familiar with Kentucky law in particular.

A prenuptual agreement is a contract. It is binding unless it is invalidated for some reason. For example, it might be possible to invalidate a prenuptual agreement if there is evidence of duress or coercion, or evidence that one party (perhaps your husband) was significantly more business savvy and had more resources (esp. legal resources) available to him and took advantage of your lack of knowledge of these things and your inability to hire an attorney of your own to review the agreement before you signed. If your husband had an attorney and you didn't, and if your husband's attorney drafted the agreement and they did not recommend or suggest that you have an attorney of your own review it for fairness before signing, a court might find the agreement to be one-sided and unfair.

It is hard to say without knowing all of the circumstances and without seeing the agreement. Also the laws of your state may come into play. For example, in California, anything over 10 years is considered a "long-term" marriage and the spouse is entitled to a greater share, which is why some speculate Tom Cruise divorced Nicole Kidman just shy of the 10-year mark. Also your agreements with your husband as to how you would share household tasks and such might be considered. For example, if your husband did not want you to work and wanted you to be at home taking care of the home and taking care of him him, he may have a bigger obligation to help you to get an education and/or to help you get back into the job market. Again, it's all going to depend on your specific circumstances, the laws in your state and the specific terms of your agreement. It's not going to be cut-and-dried.

I really suggest you seek the services of an attorney and bring a copy of the agreement with you. Be prepared to show him the agreement and also make good notes about your marriage, any agreements you had with your husband about caring for the home, working, raising children, etc. A good attorney will consult with you at no-cost and may be able to provide you with some guidance. If the attorney believes you require his or her services, he or she will at least give you an initial opinion, tell you whether he or she thinks it is worth fighting the agreement and let you know his or her rates. Generally, you will need to come up with a retainer fee somewhere in the range of $2,500. If the attorney you choose believes you have a strong case, and there is a substantial amount at stake, it will be well worth it to come up with the money some way. In most cases, if your husband loses, he will be required to reimburse you for at least a portion of the attorney's fees you expend.

Also, again, I don't know about Kentucky, but in California a spouse is required to support and care for his or her mate. You may have a case that your husband is not providing you with adequate support, particularly if he is taking good care of his own needs and is not providing for yours.


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