Eva Longoria: Desperate Housewife?

Last week Eva Longoria filed for divorce from her husband of three years, Tony Parker. The divorce petition cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the split and outlines that she is seeking spousal support from Tony. The couple signed a prenuptial agreement before their wedding and updated it last year. Eva and Tony have no children.

What would happen if Eva brought an Application for Divorce in Ontario?

There are three main issues pertinent to this divorce Application: the marriage contract, spousal support, and equalization. Each will be dealt with here in turn.

The marriage contract (also known as a Prenuptial Agreement in the United States):

Without knowing any of the details of this document it is difficult to determine the impact it would have on the outcome of this matter. This document may contain terms which will assist in the division of property and support obligations. That being said, either party may apply to the court to have the contract set aside for one of the following reasons:

  1. a party has failed to disclose to the other significant assets or debts that existed at the time the contract was entered into;
  2. for general reasons such as undue influence, duress, mistake, etc.
  3. a party did not understand the nature or consequences of the contract; or

In the event that the agreement was set aside, this matter would be dealt with by the Court as if there was never a marriage contract in place.

Spousal Support

It has been reported that Eva is seeking spousal support from Tony. As there have been no reports that she is also seeking to set aside the prenuptial agreement, it may be assumed that support obligations were not contained therein. If Eva were to bring this claim in Ontario, the Court would first consider whether Eva was entitled to support. In order to determine that Eva is entitled to support the Court would look at such factors as whether she is in need of support, or if she had made a contribution to the marriage that she should be compensated for in some way.

Based on the known facts of this case, both parties are high income earners. It would be difficult to prove that Eva is in need of support, however, if she is able to show that she contributed to the marriage in a way that she should be compensated for, then a Court may determine that she is entitled to support from Tony. In this case, as the parties have only been married for three years, and Tony was a high-profile NBA player before the marriage, it would likely be difficult to show that Eva contributed to the marriage in such a way that she should be compensated. Therefore, based on what is known at this time, it would be unlikely that Eva would be entitled to spousal support.

Equalization

In the event that the prenuptial agreement is set aside, an equalization of the parties Net Family Property would have to occur. In Ontario, this calculation determines how much the spouse with the higher Net Family Property is entitled to pay to the other. Not knowing which spouse earns more in this case or anything regarding the couple's assets, it is impossible to determine which spouse would be responsible for an equalization payment to the other.

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