Air-Tight Prenup Saves Ruben Studdard from Costly Divorce - The Chicago Family Law Blog

The Chicago Family Law Blog

Air-Tight Prenup Saves Ruben Studdard from Costly Divorce

American Idol star Ruben Studdard recently divorced his wife Surata Zuri, citing irreconcilable differences, TMZ reports. While divorces are often expensive affairs capable of draining even the deepest of pockets, Studdard emerged from his divorce financially unscathed.

Due to an ironclad prenuptial agreement Zuri signed before the couple’s marriage, Studdard’s former wife was awarded only personal items and a few thousand dollars.

During the divorce proceedings, Zuri contested the validity of the prenup, seeking to have it nullified. She claimed Studdard had surprised her with the document only days before their wedding and unfairly pressured her into signing it.

The judge wasn’t convinced, however, and upheld the prenup. As a result, Studdard doesn’t have to pay any spousal support and was able to keep all of his property and earnings. The judge even ordered Zuri to return her engagement ring to Studdard.

Zuri, on the other hand, was awarded only $2,000 in attorney’s fees, a $10,000 property settlement, and her 2006 BMW.

Had Zuri refused to sign the prenup, the results would’ve been different.

In a non-community property state like Illinois, courts will generally divide up property based on “just proportions.” In making this determination, courts consider factors like the duration of the marriage, the economic circumstances of each spouse, each spouse’s role in acquiring the property, and who has custody of any children.

While prenuptial agreements are often used by wealthy individuals to safeguard their fortunes against divorce, prenups have far more uses, like protecting one spouse from assuming the debts of the other or clarifying financial responsibilities during a marriage.

After Ruben Studdard made out like a bandit in the couple’s divorce, it’s doubtful that Surata Zuri will sign another prenuptial agreement anytime soon.

Related Resources:

  • Find a Chicago Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
  • Ruben Studdard Divorce: ‘American Idol’ Winner Files Divorce Docs (The Huffington Post)
  • Ask a Question About Family Law Now (FindLaw’s Answers)
  • Can Prenuptial Agreements Help You? (FindLaw)