Rock and roll enthusiasts in Alaska may remember when former TV sitcom star Valerie Bertinelli was married to Van Halen’s lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen. The two divorced, however, and, sadly, the iconic musician died of a stroke in 2020. Since 2011, Bertinelli has been married to financial planner/entrepreneur Tom Vitale. However, she has since filed for divorce, and Vitale is challenging the validity of the former couple’s prenuptial agreement.
Vitale is also seeking spousal support in his split from Bertinelli. The prenup in question was signed by both parties in 2010. It will now be up to the judge overseeing their case to determine whether there is merit to Vitale’s claim or whether the prenuptial agreement will stand in spite of the challenge.
What types of issues would render a prenuptial agreement invalid?
Signing a prenuptial agreement is wise when one or both intended spouses have a high net worth. It is also helpful if a person wishes to retain separate ownership of a specific asset, such as a business or another item that he or she owned before marriage. The following list shows some of the most common reasons that a family court judge might rule that a prenuptial agreement is not enforceable:
- One or both parties failed to disclose assets.
- A person was under duress when signing a prenup.
- A person was not of sound mind when signing a prenup.
- Documents were not properly filed.
There are a number of additional issues that could prompt a judge to rule that a prenuptial agreement is invalid. It is also possible that a judge would review a spouse’s challenge and reject it.
Seeking legal support helps protect assets
A contested divorce can be complex and stressful. A person who is worried about asset protection or other financial matters may want to seek guidance from an experienced family law attorney before proceedings begin. This would be especially helpful to a spouse in Alaska who plans on challenging a prenup or is on the opposite side of the issue.