Coates & Davenport, P.C.

Prenup at issue in Dixie Chicks singer's high asset divorce

Virginia residents may be fans of the country music band, the Dixie Chicks and the band's lead singer, Natalie Maines. In 2017 Maines filed for divorce from her husband on grounds of irreconcilable differences. The couple have two teenage sons. Maines' husband is requesting over $16,000 per month in child support and over $44,000 per month in spousal support from Maines. He is also requesting that Maines be responsible for the $350,000 he has spent in attorney fees.

Maines' husband claims that Maines was the primary income-earner in their family while they were married. He also claims she currently has a net worth of $50 million and continues to earn $2 million each year. He stated in his complaint that he only earns on average $150,000 annually and has accumulated $200,000 in liabilities to support himself and their sons since the couple's separation. He also claims that he turned down many job opportunities while married to Maines to be the primary caregiver in their home while Maines cultivated her singing career.

However, Maines has recently moved the court to recognize a prenuptial agreement she entered into with her estranged husband prior to their marriage. She believes that the court should rule the prenuptial agreement is valid, which would potentially speed up the dissolution process, as the agreement addressed the issues of property division and spousal support.

Whether the prenuptial agreement between Maines and her estranged husband will be honored remains to be seen. However, if it is it serves as a reminder on just how valuable such agreements can be. When couples agree on how to handle divorce legal issues in advance, the divorce can run more smoothly.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the parties to a prenup need to be represented by legal counsel before signing and the agreement cannot be so lopsided as to be unconscionable. Thus, those who want to execute a prenup or those who wish to enforce one would be well-served to seek professional guidance, so they can make decisions that are in their best interests.

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