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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tiger Woods Finalizes Divorce

This week, Tiger Woods officially finalized his divorce with his former wife, Elin Nordegren. While the details of the divorce settlement have not been made public, Nordegren is rumored to have received more than $100 million from Tiger.

This can be considered a major victory for Nordegren since the couple had entered into a prenuptial agreement which would have provided her with a vastly smaller settlement. In general, the courts will almost always uphold the terms of a prenuptial agreement even if they are lopsided, provided both parties had proper legal representation. Therefore, Tiger had no obligation to give her such a large sum of money as part of the divorce settlement. This raises the obvious question, "Why did he agree to break the terms of his prenuptial agreement?"

There are two possible explanations for Tiger's willingness to give Nordegren such a large settlement. The first involves his children. Tiger has made it abundantly clear that he would like to remain an important part in his children's lives. By giving Nordegren more money, it is possible that he was able to secure a more favorable child custody agreement.

The other explanation involves his image. To this date, Elin Nordegren has been remarkably quiet regarding the infidelities of her ex-husband. Even in her recent People magazine interview, she was careful not to bash Tiger. It is possible that as part of the terms of the divorce, she has agreed to remain quiet on the issue, or at the very least to not malign Tiger Woods to the media.

This case brings up an important consideration regarding prenuptial agreements. While it is difficult to compel your estranged spouse to break the terms of the prenup, it is possible to do so if you have the proper bargaining chips. Often, money is a small price to pay for some of these other considerations.

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