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Wife of former Texas Ranger wants divorce but not prenup

It seems another marriage of a professional athlete is breaking down. The wife of Andruw Jones, an outfielder who formerly played for the Texas Rangers, has filed for divorce in the wake of an alleged domestic violence incident at the couple's home. She stated in the divorce complaint that the marriage was "irretrievably broken," though it doesn't include any mention of Jones' Christmas Day arrest on a battery charge.

Nicole Jones may get her divorce, but possibly not on her terms. She's requested joint legal and primary custody of their son, who is 9 years old, and for Andruw Jones to pay child support and alimony. This seems fairly likely. But her demands for the division of property could be problematic. She wants all of the couple's property divided equally, and for the prenuptial agreement they signed to be declared null and void.

Prenuptial agreements are fairly common among couples in which one or both spouses is a celebrity. They protect the assets and property of both spouses, but especially that of the highest earner. There are some situations that can nullify a prenuptial agreement. If one spouse signed the agreement under pressure, duress or fraud, it may be broken by a judge. If the prenup contains false information or contains highly unreasonable demands, such as a weight loss condition or a demand that the marriage produce children, it probably won't hold up in court. Neither will verbal agreements, as opposed to written contracts. What will not break a prenup is a simple breakdown of the marriage itself.

Even the domestic violence incident may not be enough to void the prenup. Police were called to the couple's Atlanta home after an argument turned physical. Nicole Jones told police that her husband ended up putting his hands around her throat and saying he wanted to kill her. While her desire to end the marriage may be understandable, their prenup is likely to be upheld despite the domestic abuse incident.

That means the salary Andruw Jones is expected to begin earning soon with a Japanese baseball team would largely remain his, minus any alimony and child support allowed under their prenup, the terms of which haven't been disclosed. But given the country's appetite for celebrity relationship news, we're likely to hear more about that agreement in the coming weeks.

Source: Star-Telegram, "Wife of ex-Brave Andruw Jones files for divorce," Kate Brumback, Jan. 2, 2013

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