The California divorce proceedings of singer Paul Anka and his wife Anna are shaping up as unusually vitriolic, even by celebrity standards. The couple married in 2008. Paul Anka filed for a California divorce last December. Now, according to several celebrity news websites, he is also suing Anna for defamation.
The defamation allegations are, in a way, related to the divorce; specifically to the couple’s California prenuptial agreement. Paul’s suit charges Anna with claiming, first, that there is no prenuptial agreement, and later implying to Swedish media outlets (Anna is Swedish by birth) that a prenup only appears to exist because Paul forged her signature it.
Obviously, forging a partner’s signature on a legal document would, if true, be a serious crime. For those of us without inside knowledge of the Anka marriage, however, the really noteworthy point here is the sheer speed with which the California divorce action has become both extremely public and extremely toxic. Over the last 30 years or so prenuptial agreements have become increasingly common tools, particularly when one of the spouses-to-be has significant assets they wish to protect in the event of a divorce. That there could even be a dispute among the divorcing spouses over the legitimacy of the prenup (assuming, for the sake of argument, that there is one) is a sign that this marriage is probably beyond saving.
The Anka dispute, therefore, highlights the importance of drawing up prenuptial agreements in a clear and professional manner – one that leaves little or nothing open to dispute. In this regard, the importance of finding an experienced Southern California prenuptial agreement lawyer who you feel comfortable with and can trust cannot be overstated. The fact that the Ankas appear to disagree on the legitimacy of their California prenuptial agreement makes it highly likely that one of the parties may also dispute the document’s actual contents. Careful Los Angeles or Orange County family law work designed to minimize disputes at the beginning of a marriage can save both parties much trouble and expense if and when the marriage ends.
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