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Celebrity Docket: J.Lo and A-Rod - Breaking Up is Hard to Do...

Our Celebrity Docket this week won’t be focusing on any divorce celebrity divorce matters because, well, things are quiet. However, the relationship woes of Jennifer Lopez (J.Lo) and Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) could serve as an example of the lesser discussed topic of reconciliation. While J.Lo and A-Rod were not married, their situation can highlight some important reminders.

As many may know, rumors of J.Lo and A-Rod breaking up after their nearly four-year relationship were leaked about a month ago by various news outlets on the basis of an alleged affair by A-Rod. The two were engaged and have all but been married over the past couple of years since then, both personally and professionally. They have merged homes and children, they co-parent with each other's ex-spouses, and have even been part of each other’s business ventures. According to Marie Claire, it’s because of all of this hard work that they have put in to each other's lives that the parties have announced that they are reconciling.

This often-overlooked topic of reconciliation may take place at any time in the divorce process. Even though J.Lo and A-Rod aren’t married yet, if they were, there may be matters to address.

First, in Virginia, if parties have entered into a property settlement/separation agreement (read more here), after their breakup/separation, then that agreement is still in effect. This is because the agreement is a contract. Typically, agreements will require that if the parties reconcile, they must execute another agreement/contract to reflect the fact that the parties are now back together. Depending on how long the parties were separated before they’ve decided to get back together, they could have some options moving forward. For example, they could simply rescind the prior agreement that was made in anticipation of divorce. Another possibility would be to enter into post-nuptial agreements to essentially “start over” with their property and their relationship. Regardless, it’s important in Virginia to remember, that if nothing is done, then the agreement is the agreement. Just one area of impact could be the effect of provisions concerning matters of inheritance if one party were to pass away. It’s important to understand that in family law, many areas can be affected by one decision.

Secondly, and lesser discussed by divorce attorneys, is the topic of reconciliation agreements. In these agreements, the parties can enter into a contract when they break up to address how they intend to later reconcile. Some states simply classify these agreements as post-nuptial agreements (as mentioned above), while other states do not even recognize reconciliation agreements. These types of agreements, however, can get a little tricky because parties are putting together a plan to reconcile, while also stating what will happen if they end up divorcing. Clarity is critical!

So, if we can learn anything from J.Lo and A-Rod, it’s that sometimes breaking up is so hard to do that it’s worth trying again...but, you might still need to speak with an attorney to make sure there are no surprises down the road.

If you have questions on the negotiation of prenuptial or property settlement/separation agreements, and/or how reconciliation might affect any separation agreements, the experienced family law attorneys at Morris Williams LLC – A Family Law Firm are here to answer your questions and empower you to make the best decisions for your future. Call us today at 757-226-9425 to schedule a consultation or email us at admin@morriswilliamslaw.com.

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