Texas fans of the hit television show “The View” will recognize the name of co-host Sherri Shepherd. The talk show personality is currently in the beginning stages of what will likely be an unusual and highly contentious child custody battle. Shepherd has filed for divorce from her husband, and the two have begun a legal struggle over rights to their unborn child. That child is being carried by a surrogate mother.
Interestingly, no child custody case has been filed. Instead, Shepherd is asking a court to uphold a prenuptial agreement signed by both parties. That agreement states, among other stipulations, that Shepherd would receive full custody of the child in the event that the marriage ends in divorce. Shepherd’s husband has asked the court to throw out the prenup based on his claim that the document is the result of fraud.
Should the court find that fraud played a role in the creation of the prenuptial agreement, Shepherd’s husband could be allowed to pursue a child custody case. In addition, he would also be able to pursue a share of the talk show host’s wealth, which is likely significant based upon her 2010 contract paying $1 million. Should the prenup be upheld, she would be required to pay her former spouse nothing more than one lump sum payment of $60,000.
As this case moves forward, fans in Texas and across the nation will continue to follow the developments. Child custody matters can be complicated enough, but when issues of surrogacy and prenuptial agreements enter into the mix, the complexity of the case is greatly increased. The outcome could change the way that individuals approach prenups, and may clarify the protections that such documents can provide.
Source: Atlanta Black Star, "Sherri Shepherd Launches Legal Battle to Keep Full Custody of Unborn Child", Taylor Gordon, May 15, 2014