Recently, this Texas family law blog discussed the contractual terms that a prenuptial agreement should include so that it cannot later be challenged as invalid. Generally, prenups must be signed by the parties, must be put into writing, and may not be created under any conditions that may suggest that one of the parties was pressured or coerced into signing it against their will. Individuals who wish to fully understand the requirements of these important family law documents are asked to consult with their attorneys about preparing and executing them in accordance with applicable laws.
The death of a popular television personality, though, has shed some light on how poorly drafted prenups can create problems down the road. When Alan Thicke passed away last December he was married to his third wife, a woman named Tanya Callau. Thicke and Callau were married in 2005 and reportedly signed a prenuptial agreement a mere four days before they wed. Although they did not divorce, their prenup has been referenced in serious legal proceedings between Callau and Thicke’s adult children from a prior marriage.
Their prenup allegedly contained terms that excluded Callau from receiving spousal support in the event of a divorce, which may have been unconscionable since Thicke was worth around $20 million at the time of their marriage. It has also been alleged that the timing of the signing of the document as well as the fact that Callau was not represented by legal counsel could invalidate the prenuptial agreement and make her eligible for a greater portion of the entertainer’s estate.
Poorly drafted and improperly executed prenuptial agreements can create significant legal headaches when they are called upon to provide clarity in times of legal strife. As Callau and Thicke’s children fight out their differences, readers of this post may wish to consult with family law attorneys about the strength and validity of their prenuptial agreements.
Source: patch.com, “Alan Thicke’s Widow And Sons Battle In Court Over Estate,” July 13, 2017