Colorado readers may remember former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson from his years with the Bengals, the Patriots and most recently the Dolphins. But Johnson, who formerly went by the name Chad Ochocinco after his jersey number (85), has been in the news recently for other reasons. This summer he was arrested and charged with domestic abuse following an incident in which he allegedly head-butted his wife during an argument. His wife filed for divorce right after that incident. Now, just over a month later, the divorce has been finalized.
Fortunately for Johnson and his now ex-wife, the couple had no children, so there were no issues of child support, child custody or visitation to deal with. In addition, according to Johnson’s attorney, the couple had entered into a confidential prenuptial agreement, which presumably resolved many if not all property division issues.
In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, asset division can be a complex and contentious process, especially for a high-profile couple with significant property interests. In Colorado, most property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property and is divided equitably – which means fairly, not necessarily equally – between the spouses. Separate property, which each spouse brought to the marriage or acquired by gift or inheritance, is not divided. Appreciation of separate property during the marriage is considered marital property, however.
By signing a prenuptial agreement Johnson and his ex-wife were able to avoid litigating these issues. In Colorado, prenuptial agreements are recognized by the Colorado Marital Agreements Act. The Act allows parties to reach an agreement as to property division and spousal maintenance. Prenuptial agreements will be enforced in Colorado as long as there was full disclosure by each party as to their assets. If a provision regarding spousal maintenance is found to be unconscionable at the time it is enforced, the court may strike it down.
Source: Sports Illustrated, “Ex-NFL star Chad Johnson, Evelyn Lozada divorced,” Sept. 19, 2012