Nancy L. Sponseller

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Deception and nuance in divorce case

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Monday, January 6, 2014.

A high-stakes divorce case manifests itself in the case of a husband and wife who married with an explicit prenuptial agreement that was then overturned. Ohio couples may be interested in knowing the details of this case, which helps to delineate some of the limits of prenuptial agreements. The couple in this case had entered into an agreement stating that a possible divorce wouldn’t include division of any gifts or inheritances received by either person. It also would not include division of business growth caused by separate efforts.

The couple did go through a divorce after the husband and the best man at his wedding developed a phone company called Velocity. The company was successful, and his wife ultimately stopped working to stay at home with their four children. When the couple subsequently got a divorce, the husband was ordered to pay $3,500 in monthly spousal support and approximately $1,000 in monthly child support, but he failed to meet his obligations. He then claimed that spousal and child support wasn’t warranted, as he was earning no income but rather lived on gifts from his ex-wife’s parents and from the co-founder of his company.

However, investigations into the banking practices of Velocity showed that there was considerable mixing of business and personal funds. The husband also drove a Mercedes paid for by the company, lived in an expensive house, and took luxury vacations, despite saying that he had no reportable income. The court found this dubious, and the husband was ordered to pay on the basis of income being imputed to him. The court also ruled that the prenuptial agreement was not entirely valid, as circumstances had changed since the time it has been entered into.

The agreement modification and imputing of income seen in this case is something that happens periodically. It is an example of the dynamic nature of family law and the judicial decisions that go along with it.

Source: Forbes, “The High-Flying Debtor Gets His Wings Clipped In Newcomer“, Jay Adkisson, December 28, 2013