Floridians, as well as couples from other states, are increasingly using prenuptial agreements as a means of protecting personal assets and wealth when entering into a marriage. Unless a situation that is specifically outlined in the agreement as a cause for it to be voided occurs, the spouses must comply with the terms of the contract, regardless of how the marriage ends.

The heiress to the Wal-Mart fortune recently filed for divorce from her husband of five years. While the specific reason for her filing was not disclosed, it was reported that she also filed a separate civil lawsuit against her soon-to-be ex-husband. In the civil lawsuit, she reportedly claimed that her husband wrongly took significant funds from a business that she financed and diverted them to himself and a friend.

Prior to their marriage, the couple signed a prenuptial agreement. In that agreement, it stipulates that should they divorce, the heiress is responsible for spousal support. The amount of those payments was not reported. As a result of this agreement, the woman may be required to fulfill those payments, despite the civil lawsuit. It is unknown to the public at this time whether or not the couple’s contract included any stipulations in which it could be voided or the promise of spousal support withdrawn.

Anyone who is considering divorce, or whose spouse is considering divorce, may find it of benefit to obtain external legal advice, whether they have a prenuptial agreement or not. An attorney can offer advice based on your specific situation and help to ensure that your rights are protected.

Source: New York Post, “Walmart heiress’ prenup overshadowed by lawsuit,” April 22, 2014