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Celebrity Divorce Is Example of Enforceability of Premarital Agreements

The wife of celebrity chef Bobby Flay does not want the couple’s premarital agreement to be enforced in their upcoming divorce. However, under Texas law, she would probably lose.

Stephanie March, an actress who has appeared on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, married Flay 10 years ago. The couple signed a premarital agreement which, upon divorce, would give March $5,000 per month in spousal maintenance, plus $1 million in exchange for the marital residence. According to this article on TMZ, March’s lawyers do not believe these provisions are enforceable. Flay, soon after filing for divorce, sent his first $5,000 maintenance check. According to the same article,

“Stephanie’s lawyer returned the $5,000 check, along with some choice words – “We regard the support provisions of the

pre-marital agreement as unenforceable (not to mention morally reprehensible).”

March and her lawyers believe that Flay is worth at least $20 million and that March was a big part of his success. Further, the marital residence is now worth approximately $8 million. If all of this is true, this certainly seems like a bad deal for March.

Defenses to Enforcement of a Texas Premarital Agreement

If the premarital agreement was drafted under Texas law, it would not matter if the premarital agreement turned out to be a bad deal for a spouse upon divorce. In Texas, the defenses to the enforcement of a premarital agreement are limited to the following:

  1. The party did not sign the premarital agreement voluntarily; or
  2. The agreement was unconscionable when it was signed and, before signing the agreement, that party;
    • Was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party;
    • Did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; and
    • Did not have, or reasonably could not have had, adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.

    Continue reading at DFW Divorce Blog.