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Arbitrator confirms signatures on sports star's prenup

Signatures always carry tremendous importance when it comes to any sort of legally binding document. A prenuptial agreement, for instance, must be signed by both parties. However, those signatures must be provided voluntarily, without coercion, and with an understanding of the content of the document. The recent divorce trial of former pro football star Deion Sanders has swirled around this very issue, with attorneys on one side claiming part of a crucial prenuptial agreement involved forgery.

Sanders and his wife have been trying to finalize their divorce in Collin County, Texas, in a courtroom that has played host to recent arguments over the couple's prenup. Sanders claimed his wife signed a prenuptial agreement over a decade ago, but is now requesting a more financially lucrative deal. A lawyer for the wife alleged that the prenup was partially forged; the attorney also claimed the document was signed by the wife under some amount of pressure. In the fall of 2012, however, a judge overseeing the case ruled that the prenup was signed voluntarily by the wife, and therefore the contract was a valid one.

Prenuptial agreements can be a point of contention in a heated divorce dispute, often because they concern property division. Prenups can outline who gets what after the dissolution of a marriage, and when emotions run high, both parties may want more than they agreed to initially. Moreover, since prenups can concern assets acquired before a marriage as well as those obtained during a marriage, their comprehensive nature can be overwhelming during the divorce phase.

With divorce itself sometimes equally overwhelming, it is helpful for Houston-area couples to know have help during the process. From start to finish, a family law attorney can illuminate the path couples can take from married together to starting-over separately. A prenuptial agreement can serve as a road map at this time, as long as it is formed with equal input from both parties.

Source: NBC, "Prenuptial agreement will stand in Sanders divorce," March 20, 2013

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

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