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Man must pay spousal support despite prenuptial agreement

Couples in Texas who have a prenuptial agreement should be aware that such documents do not always hold up in court. A woman who challenged a prenup that stated that she would not seek alimony in the case of a divorce was recently successful following a decision by the Ninth Circuit appeals court.

The crux of the case rests on a document known as the I-864 Affidavit of Support. This is a document that the man, a U.S. citizen, signed to bring his spouse into the country from Turkey. The judge argued that this document and the support obligation it outlined overruled the prenuptial agreement.

The man, who works in real estate, is worth approximately $5 million. He and his wife separated in 2011 after two years of marriage. Since then, the woman moved in with her son, who makes $3,200 per month. The woman also got food stamps and said she had a Turkish pension that she was unable to access in the United States.

A lower court ruled that while the affidavit did obligate the man to support his ex-wife, he was not responsible for doing so since the son made sufficient income. However, the higher court disagreed with the inclusion of the son's income in the case.

Since Texas is a community property state, some people who are getting married might be particularly eager to draw up a prenuptial agreement that protects the assets they are bringing into the marriage. An individual who is considering divorce might want to speak to an attorney and discuss how property division might be decided even if they do have a prenuptial agreement.

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Bruce Turner with Bennett, Weston LaJone & Turner, P.C.

Attorney Bruce Turner is located in Dallas and represents people and businesses throughout DFW and the Metroplex, including Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Farmers Branch, Irving, Las Colinas, Corinth, Highland Village, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland and Grapevine as well as Collin County, Denton County and Dallas County in Texas.

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