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AgreementsMarital Agreements Will Be Enforced Even If One Spouse Failed to Require Full Compliance in the Past

January 17, 2007

Continuing along the theme of sport superstars and their very public divorces, Jeffrey Lalloway in his blog, reports that:

Giants star Michael Strahan was ordered to pay his ex-wife $15.3 million — more than half his net worth — in keeping with the couple’s prenuptial agreement.

Under the agreement, Jean Strahan was entitled to 50 percent of their joint marital assets and 20 percent of his yearly income from each year they were married.

The NFL star had contended he wasn’t responsible for the 20 percent because his wife failed to ask for it every year. But state Superior Court Judge James Convery disagreed, ruling "the plaintiff is not credible in his claim that the defendant never asked for her separate funds." In addition to the $15.3 million, Convery awarded Jean Strahan hundreds of thousands of dollars in child support. The couple married in 1999.

"It pays to tell the truth, and I told the truth," Jean Strahan said in Saturday’s New York Post. "I never asked for a penny more than the prenup that Michael and his lawyers wrote and made me sign. And all I ever asked for was that to be upheld

            Strahan or his attorneys probably should have read his agreement carefully. Many pre-nuptial, post-nuptial and separation agreements contain a “No-Waiver” clause that provides: “The failure of either party to insist in any one or more instances upon the strict performance of any of the terms of this Agreement by the other party shall not be construed as a waiver or relinquishment of such term or terms for the future.”   

The mere fact that Mrs. Strahahn did not seek to  enforce every provision of their agreement when the marriage was intact, in no way prevented her from seeking to enforce her contractual rights when the marriage soured.  

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