William Shatner, who is best known for starring as Enterprise captain James T. Kirk on the original Star Trek, has reached the final frontier of his marriage: he has filed for divorce from his wife of 18 years. News reports suggest the Captain and his First Mate previously entered into a prenuptial agreement. But will it be phaser-proof?
Beam Me Up Scotty
Transmission of the news was received this week about the divorce filing, but some sources believe the divorce process had already been in the works for a while. Importantly TMZ noted that there was a prenup in place, the couple never had children together, and neither party is asking for spousal support. Observers are predicting a smooth divorce will be transported down to court fairly soon.
I was attracted by her beauty first of all, which was an old syndrome for me … and I think I lucked out because she had so many other qualities as well. Elizabeth has a great sense of humor and a great sense of adventure and she’s very nurturing. That combination of beauty, style, intelligence, humor and loving horses and dogs and children and loving her home and making a home for us, is quite a combination.
This marriage is not the Captain’s first voyage. Shatner’s wife, Elizabeth, 61, is his fourth, er sequel, in movie parlance.
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.
Prenups can be the best captain at the helm . . . 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.
Warp Speed Ahead
The Shatners are still negotiating the financial terms, a source told the site TMZ.
‘Per the terms of the prenup, neither party will receive any support from the other.
The Captain has had a colorful love life previously that resulted in four marriages and three daughters. Shatner and Elizabeth Shatner married in February 2001. He was previously married to Gloria Rand, Marcy Lafferty and Nerine Kidd, and has three daughters, Melanie, Leslie and Lisabeth, with Rand. Elizabeth Shatner was previously wed to Michael Glenn Martin.
Sources said Shatner and Elizabeth are expected to soon submit their divorce documents for a final signature from a judge.
The TMZ article is here.