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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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High profile couple argue over property division

When some people marry, they decide to look realistically at their financial situation and life in general. To help protect their assets in the event of a divorce, many choose to create a prenuptial agreement before the wedding. While such documents have much value, many people in Texas have found that ambiguous agreements can create, rather than reduce, conflict. An out-of-state couple who separated almost 10 years ago are still waiting for a decision to be made over property division.

The couple, Cancer Treatment Centers of America founder Richard Stephenson, and ex-wife Alicia, married in 1991. Reports indicate that the couple separated in 2007, and Alicia Stephenson filed for divorce in 2009. While their marriage was dissolved in 2016, their disputes over how to divide their property have yet to be resolved. Although there was a prenuptial agreement in place, the document apparently did not resolve issues involving separating the couple's assets.

Alicia Stephenson claims that she requires $400,000 a month in order to maintain her lifestyle and is further requesting several pieces of real estate as part of their divorce settlement. Her representatives claim that she played a substantial role in her husband's overall success. However, Richard Stephenson has downplayed her role, describing her as being "along for the ride" and having very little impact on his business. He further asserts that he cannot afford to pay the monthly maintenance amount his ex-wife has requested. A judge is now set to issue a decision in the case.

Not all divorces are contentious. Most couples in Texas are able to relatively quickly come to an agreement in order to move on to the next chapter of their life -- especially if there is a clear prenuptial agreement in place, detailing expectations regarding property division. Having an experienced attorney help write and review such an agreement can help ensure that all necessary details are properly addressed.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "After 10 years, end in sight for cancer hospital founder's epic divorce", Amanda Marrazzo, April 3, 2017

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