Tag: celebrity annulment

Prenups Can Speed A Divorce

Exhibiting “warp speed”, actor William Shatner’s divorce from his fourth wife, Elizabeth Martin, has been finalized. The “Star Trek” actor filed for divorce last month, and apparently finalized it a month later. His prenuptial agreement likely helped speed his divorce to an early settlement.

Prenups Speed Divorce

Warp Speed

According to many reports, Shatner’s net worth is over $100 Million dollars from over two decades in acting. Distributing the actor’s fortune could have been a tremendous source of litigaton had there not been a prenuptial agreement.

However, court documents show the former couple had a prenuptial agreement in place, which allows the 88-year-old to keep his “Star Trek” royalties, the news outlet said. The actor was married to Martin for 18 years.

When reached by Fox News last month, Martin shared her brother had died around the time Shatner filed for the divorce and that she was with her family “during this time of grief.” “Respect distance from divorce topic while we grieve my brother respectfully,” she added. Representatives for Shatner did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Florida Prenuptial Agreements

I’ve written about prenuptial agreements before. Prenuptial agreements are about more than just exploring the strange new world of marriage. A prenuptial agreement (or “prenup” for short) is a contract between people intending to marry. A prenup determines spousal rights when the marriage ends by death or divorce. This can be especially important for those who boldly go into fourth marriages.

If you divorce without a prenup, your property rights are determined under state law, and a spouse may have a claim to alimony while the suit for divorce is pending and after entry of a judgment. Many couples divorcing would prefer not to to explore the strange new worlds of family court.

That’s where prenups come in. Prospective spouses may limit or expand state laws by an agreement. Prenups are also used to protect the interests of children from a prior marriage, and to avoid a contested divorce.

As shown in Shatner’s case, prenups can also be the fastest way to resolve a future divorce . . . if they’re done right.

There are a galaxy of problems with prenuptial agreements too. If a prenuptial agreement includes any provisions that violate the law or public policy, it may automatically be deemed invalid.

Additionally, a prenuptial agreement cannot waive child support, and can’t set an amount for child support. Courts have plenary power over support issues, so child support amounts are determined by courts based on our child support guidelines.

Also, a premarital agreement may not be enforceable in a family court case, for instance, if it was not signed voluntarily; or if it was the product of fraud, duress, coercion, or overreaching.

Flying Through the Divorce Nebula

In the Shatner divorce, he listed the couple’s separation date as February 1, 2019. He was previously married to Nerine Kidd, Marcy Lafferty and Gloria Rand. He shares two daughters, Lisabeth Shatner, 58, and Leslie Carol, 61, with Rand.

The actor shot to fame in the 1960s for his role as Captain James T. Kirk in the original series run of “Star Trek” and went on to have a lucrative film and TV career afterwards.

Shatner’s third marriage, to Kidd, ended in tragedy in 1999 when she died of accidental drowning in their swimming pool. Although the actor had filed for divorce after two years of marriage shortly before the incident, he explained in his 2018 book “Live Long and…What I Learned Along the Way” that he was nonetheless grief-stricken by the loss.

The Rise of Starfleet

Last week, President Trump unveiled the new logo for the United States Space Force, America’s newest branch of the military. Many are saying the logo looks suspiciously like the logo for the fictional Starfleet Command in the Star Trek entertainment universe.

Fellow Star Trek actor, George Takei, who played the character “Sulu” on the original series with Shatner, mocked the new logo for Space Force. After it was unveiled, Takei quickly tweeted:

‘Ahem. We are expecting some royalties from this..’

In his Washington Post opinion piece, Takei drew parallels between the Trump administration and a Star Trek episode called ‘Mirror, Mirror,’ where the USS Enterprise bridge crew find themselves in a parallel universe where ‘cruelty’ has replaced ‘diplomacy.’

The Fox News article is here.

 

When Mama Grizzlies Divorce

Citing “incompatibility of temperament” and that “they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife” Todd Palin filed for divorce from former Alaska governor, one-time vice-presidential candidate, and self-described mama grizzly, Sarah Palin, his wife of 31 years.

Divorce Grizzly Bears

Alaska The New Frontier

In a document filed in Anchorage Superior Court, Todd Palin, 55, asked to dissolve the marriage, citing an “incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife.”

The divorce filing uses initials rather than full names, but identifies the couple’s marriage date and the birth date of their only child who is a minor, Trig Palin. The filing asks for joint legal custody of the child.

The Palin family rocketed to national prominence in 2008 when Republican presidential nominee John McCain chose Palin as his vice-presidential candidate, making them household names and focusing the country’s attention on their hometown of Wasilla.

The marriage of the uber mama grizzly, Sarah and her husband Todd, a commercial fisherman, snow machine racer and oil field worker, was frequently on display in TV interviews, reality shows, books and other media appearances.

Florida Divorce

Alaska is a “no fault” divorce state, which allows for divorce on the basis of an “incompatibility of temperament.” This means that even if your spouse is entirely opposed to ending your marriage, you can still request, and receive, a divorce from the Court if you allege what the Palins alleged: “incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife.”

I’ve written about no fault divorce before. No-fault laws are the result of trying to change the way divorces played out in court. In Florida no fault laws have reduced the number of feuding couples who felt the need to resort to distorted facts, lies, and the need to focus the trial on who did what to whom.

The only ground you need to file for divorce in Florida is to prove your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Additionally, the mental incapacity of one of the parties, where the party was adjudged incapacitated for the prior three year, is another avenue.

Some people think no fault divorce is one of the main reasons for a high divorce rate. Despite the recent legislative moves around the world to make all divorce no-fault, there is also a counter-movement to return to the old “fault” system to promote families.

North to the Future

Since leaving office, Sarah Palin has kept a low profile in Alaska politics, while maintaining a national profile through her books, speaking engagements and social media presence.

The two have been married since 1988 and have five children: Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow and Piper. Todd Palin’s filing asks for shared custody of Trig, who has Down Syndrome. Todd Palin, unlike his famous political wife, has largely steered clear of headlines since she burst on the national scene during 2008 presidential election cycle.

He was in a snowmobile accident in 2016, in which he suffered broken and fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, a broken shoulder blade, a broken clavicle, and leg injuries. It was one of the few times the husband made headlines.

The couple’s children have also lived in and out of the spotlight over the years. Track Palin, their eldest son, was sentenced to a year in custody last year after a female acquaintance said he told her that she could not leave his house in Wasilla, took away her phone and then hit her in the head.

In December 2017, Track Palin was accused of breaking into his parents’ home and leaving Todd bleeding from cuts on his head, authorities said. He pleaded guilty in June 2018 to a lesser charge in veterans court.

The couple’s daughter Bristol Palin briefly starred in MTV’s “Teen Mom” franchise but quit the series in April. She said in her announcement that the reality series wasn’t a good fit for her and that “walking away from this show allows God to rebuild me (and my little fam) in the right direction.”

Bristol Palin was 17 when she found out she was pregnant with her son, Tripp, who she had with former fiancé, Levi Johnston. She also has two daughters, Sailor Grace and Atlee Bay, with former husband, Dakota Meyer.

The Anchorage Daily News article is here.

 

Wrestling over Attorney Fees in Divorce

Hulk Hogan, the famous professional wrestler who calls everybody “brother”, is now saying “uncle”. A family court judge in Tampa Florida has ordered that Hogan has 30-days to pay his ex-wife Linda Bollea more than $180,000 in attorney fees and costs in his post-judgment divorce case.

attorney fees divorce

Get Ready to Rumble

Hulk, whose real name is Terry Bollea, married Linda Bollea in 1983. Linda Bollea, 59, divorced the pro wrestler, whose real name Terry Gene Bollea, after 23 years of marriage when an alleged mistress went public in 2008. The parties entered into a marital settlement agreement in December 2009.

Linda alleges she’s had to fight Hogan, 65, to get what was agreed upon ever since. Hogan is taking Linda back to court in his attempt to block her from seeing the books on Intellectual Property that she may own half of.

“It has been nine years since our divorce and I have received nothing but frivolous legal battles meant to harass and drain any monies I received upfront from our original divorce agreement. He’s hidden money, transferred and diverted money, switched trademarks, cooked the books, everything he could to make sure I get as little as possible from the brand I helped him build and turn into a global success.”

In August 2019, Judge Peter Ramsberger ruled that the Hulkster was responsible for “the vast escalation of fees and costs,” surrounding their prolonged divorce and legal battle to which his ex-wife Linda said the former wrestling star has repeatedly failed to pay.

The initial 2009 marital settlement agreement entitled Linda Bollea to 70% of their liquid assets, properties and 40% of Hogan’s earnings from his $115 million Gawker settlement.

Hogan sued website, Gawker, after the gossip site published a sex tape of Hogan containing racial slurs muttered by the wrestler in 2012.

The one-time most famous wrestler in the world was then dropped by the WWE and admitted to being a “racist, to a point,” but also apologized saying the “language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.”

Florida Attorney Fees in Divorce

Attorney fees and costs can be high in a Florida divorce case. One way to level the playing field of high divorce fees and costs in Florida is to ask one side to pay for attorneys’ fees.

In Florida attorney’s fees may be awarded in a divorce, including enforcement and modification proceedings, separate maintenance, custody and support proceedings and appellate proceedings.

The court may from time to time, after considering the financial resources of both parties, order a party to pay a reasonable amount for attorney’s fees, suit money, and the cost to the other party of maintaining or defending any proceeding. The same is true in paternity actions under Chapter 742.

I’ve written about reducing attorneys’ fees through various means before. The purpose of awarding attorneys’ fees is to make certain that both parties in a divorce proceeding “will have similar ability to secure competent legal counsel.”

There are also fees for frivolous cases. A reasonable attorney’s fee can also be awarded to the prevailing party if the court finds that someone brought a claim that was not supported by the material facts the then existing law to those material facts.

Hulkamania is running wild, Brother

Judge Ramsberger ruled:

“His early compliance or good faith efforts to timely comply with petitioner’s discovery requests would have avoided a considerable amount of time having to be spent by petitioner’s counsel in doing what they have had to do in order to accomplish their rightful discovery requests, and properly represent his client.”

Hogan has one month to pay over $170,000 in attorney’s fees his former wife has spent while litigating their post-judgment proceedings, and an additional $10,260.25 in excess costs and legal fees.

Linda Bollea’s attorney shared his enthusiasm for the settlement:

“We were rightly awarded 100 percent of our fees, costs and travel expenses and fees requested incurred just to that point in combating Hulk Hogan and his controlled Entities obstructive and costly discovery prevention. Consistently, Hulk Hogan and his controlled Entities did all they can to prevent Linda from obtaining the discovery proving his failure to comply with their marital settlement agreement and diverting of money Linda should be receiving.”

The Fox Business article is here.

 

A Little Divorce and Annulment

According to celebrity news outlets, Little Women: LA star Christy Gibel wants an annulment five years after getting married to her husband Todd Gibel. The marriage is a small one, but the case does highlight some tiny distinctions between the grounds for getting an annulment and the grounds for a divorce – especially when time is short.

little divorce and annulment

Small Marriage Big Problems

Christy filed new legal documents asking the court to annul her marriage to her husband Todd court records show. The couple got married on May 16, 2014, and they’ve had a turbulent relationship almost from the start, but the little problems have grown out of control.

Sources close to Christy tell TMZ she wants an annulment for two reasons — the marriage was never consummated and she’s accusing him of financial fraud. The TMZ sources claim Todd opened credit card accounts and took out loans under her name without her consent.

The case raises a few questions, the biggest being can an annulment be filed after years of marriage? According to TMZ in California, a person can get an annulment if there’s proof it was fraudulently induced.

Christy now wants out of her marriage – which she alleges has little sex. Some other huge problems, she claims her husband was making little effort to save the marriage and made it difficult for her and her 19-year-old daughter from another relationship.

According to TMZ it’s been a while since they’ve had sex, but they’ve had sex during the marriage. As for her accusations of financial crimes he says that will all come out in court. He adds his attorney has advised him not to talk about it until then.

As true ‘Little Women’ fans know the estranged couple talked about trying to have a little baby. Christy’s daughter even acknowledged hearing them trying. TMZ’s sources also report the short baby-making-talk was all just part of the show. They ultimately focused on trying surrogacy, but they never went through with it.

Florida Annulments are a Little Difficult

What if this short term marriage took place in Florida? I’ve written about divorce and annulment in Florida before. Florida does not have a statute authorizing annulments. The decision to divorce or annul a marriage will depend on certain facts.

Annulment has a long history beginning in England, and if King Henry VIII had been able to secure an annulment from the Pope, England might have remained a Catholic country. Today, annulment may best be known for rescuing Britney Spears from an ill-advised alcohol-related Las Vegas “bender.”

Because Florida is one of the handful of states that has no annulment statute, annulments in Florida are purely a question of common law, decided pursuant to the inherent equitable powers of the circuit court.

The historical common law “impediments” to marriage traditionally fell into two general categories: lack of consent and lack of capacity. This is substantially still the case law in Florida.

Lack of consent would include, for example, people who are related within certain degrees, and minors without parental consent. Lack of capacity includes marriages involving fraud, mental illness, sham marriages, and shotgun weddings.

While none of the “marriage” statutes in Florida specifically address purported marriages between one person and another person who is already legally married to a third party, bigamy is, of course, a crime. Bigamy raises the question: do you divorce or annul the marriage?

A Little Pettiness

While there doesn’t seem to be big reasons for an annulment, there does appear to be a few grounds for the divorce though. The reality TV star filed court pleadings asking a judge to grant her a temporary restraining order against her husband.

The allegations are that he is making life for her and her 19-year-old daughter from another relationship a little miserable. For one, Christy says he has been impersonating her via email and shutting her out of her social media accounts. She also suspects he’s been ripping up her mail.

On an even more petty level, Christy argues he has been unnecessarily raising the temperature in the house to unbearable levels. For that reason and others Christy says she fears for her life and needs a restraining order.

The TMZ article is here.