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Prenuptial agreements can protect your assets

Photo of Karen Lavin

Nobody wants to go through the process of a divorce. Nevertheless, as many Illinois residents know, it happens. When it does, it is important that you protect your rights. One way to do this is through a prenuptial agreement.

Prenuptial agreements allow individuals to guard their financial interests before entering a marriage. However, it is not uncommon for a prenuptial agreement to be in dispute during a divorce.

This was the case for the former "American Idol" contestant winner Ruben Studdard. Fortunately, he prepared for the worst when he got married. Sources credit the singer's strong prenuptial agreement for his smooth transition from married life to singlehood.

The story started when Studdard filed for divorce last fall from his wife, Surata Zuri McCants. The performer cited irreconcilable differences in his petition, and the divorce was official by January 2012.

Primarily, Zuri attempted to nullify the prenuptial agreement, indicating that Studdard unjustly pressured her into signing it. Nevertheless, a judge upheld the contract, which gave hardly anything to Zuri in the divorce.

According to the final judgment, Studdard was not ordered to pay spousal support. Furthermore, he gets to keep their home and all of his belongings. The singer's former wife also had to return the engagement ring.

What did Zuri did keep? In the process of divorce, she ultimately came out with her wedding dress, her photo albums, a 2006 BMW, a $10,000 property settlement and $2,000 for attorney's fees. However, between the couple, that was not very much. As a result, this story presents a good lesson -- get a prenuptial agreement if you have many worthy assets.

Source: TMZ, "Ruben Studdard divorces like a champ with ironclad prenup," April 8, 2012

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