After seven years, Danica Patrick's marriage has apparently hit the skids. The NASCAR driver announced Tuesday that she and her husband Paul Hospenthal are getting divorced, The Washington Post reports.
When celebrities divorce, you have to wonder, "Was there a prenup?" If not, Hospenthal could receive a big cut of Patrick's winnings and endorsement money.
The couple married back in 2005 after Hospenthal, a physical therapist, treated Patrick for a yoga injury. "This isn't easy for either of us, but mutually it has come to this," Patrick wrote on her Facebook page. Hospenthal "has been an important person and friend in my life and that's how we will remain moving forward."
No word yet on whether Hospenthal has requested spousal support. However, alimony may not be necessary. That's because alimony is often deemed "rehabilitative," meaning it's only ordered for as long as necessary to get a spouse back on his feet.
If a spouse already has the money or skills necessary to support himself, spousal support probably isn't needed. Since Hospenthal is a trained physical therapist, he should be able to find work right off the bat.
While spousal support may not be in order, Hospenthal could get a sizeable chunk of the marital assets depending on where the couple files for divorce. Arizona, for instance, is a community property state. That means that each spouse is entitled to half of all the marital assets in divorce. Marital assets include nearly all money and property that a couple acquires during a marriage, subject to a few exceptions.
Separate property, on the other hand, isn't divided in divorce. In general, separate property includes any property or assets a spouse acquired before the marriage, as a gift, or by inheritance. Spouses can also reach an agreement as to what assets are considered separate property.
So Patrick's earnings prior to the marriage won't be up for grabs, but everything she made during the marriage will be. That is, unless there was a prenup.
- Danica Patrick announces divorce on Facebook (Los Angeles Times)
- Whether to Divorce (FindLaw)
- A Divorce Timeline (FindLaw)
- The Petraeus Affair: How Adultery Affects a Divorce (FindLaw's Phoenix Family Law Blog)