In-Person Depositions Requested in Dr. Dre Divorce Case Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
According to news reports, the drama continues in the divorce case between Dr. Dre and his wife, Nicole Young.
The newest drama appears to be over whether Dr. Dre will be required to appear for in-person depositions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Dre has already failed to appear at previously scheduled depositions.
Nicole filed new court papers requesting that the court require Dr. Dre to appear at the depositions. She has asked the court to fine him $50,000 for failing to appear at depositions.
Nicole claims that the in-person depositions are required because Dr. Dre’s credibility is essential to the case. She does not believe that holding the deposition over Zoom is sufficient. She is asking that Dr. Dre be required to appear for hours of questions regarding various aspects of their divorce, including the prenuptial agreement.
What is a Deposition?
A deposition is oral testimony given by a party of interest in a legal matter. The person deposed provides testimony out-of-court. A court report places the person under oath and records the deposition.
Because the testimony in a deposition is under oath, an attorney could use the testimony in a deposition to impeach a witness at trial if the witness changes his or her testimony.
Attorneys use depositions to gather evidence about the case. The parties to a family court matter can be required to provide depositions. Experts, witnesses, and other parties of interest may also be required to provide depositions in the case.
A Key Argument in the Dr. Dre Divorce is a Marital Agreement
One of the critical factors in the Dr. Dre divorce case is whether or not the parties have a valid marital agreement. Dr. Dre alleges that he and his wife have a prenuptial agreement. prenuptial agreements are signed before the marriage.
Nicole alleges that she was pressured into signing a prenuptial agreement shortly before their divorce. If a person is forced to sign a prenuptial agreement, the court can invalidate the agreement.
She also alleges that Dr. Dre tore up the agreement a few years after their marriage. The presumption is that the parties agreed they no longer had a prenuptial agreement. If that allegation were to prove true, the court could also invalidate the agreement.
It appears that Nicole wants to have the prenuptial agreement declared void or invalid. Dr. Dre is fighting to have the prenuptial agreement declared valid. Why?
The logical assumption is that the prenuptial agreement limits what Nicole may receive during a divorce. The marital agreement could limit what she might receive as a property settlement and what she could receive as spousal support.
California is a community property state, meaning that the court divides all marital property 50-50 between the parties. Nicole claims that Dr. Dre is worth a billion dollars, so an even split of assets might favor her.
Nicole is also seeking almost $2 million per month in spousal support. While it can be expensive to maintain the standard of living for a spouse in a celebrity marriage, the prenuptial agreement could limit the amount she could receive for spousal support.
High-Net-Worth Divorces Can Be Extremely Complicated
When a couple has a high-net-worth, it can complicate the divorce proceedings in several ways. A marital agreement can help simplify matters by deciding many of the issues that would be litigated in a divorce. However, in the absence of a marital agreement, the parties must work out the issues or litigate the issues in court.
In these divorces, one of the most difficult issues is property division. Couples often own assets that can be difficult to value, such as multiple real estate holdings, offshore assets, business interests, patents, intellectual property, antiques, artwork, and jewelry. Appraisers may be required to value assets.
Also, couples may try to hide assets to avoid splitting the assets. Investigators may be necessary to track down hidden assets.
In addition to property division arguments, spousal support can also be an issue. Maintaining the standard of living for a spouse in a high-net-worth marriage can be costly. Child support may also be very high because children often attend private schools and have expenses that are not common in most marriages.
The lack of privacy for some high-net-worth couples also complicates the divorce. Reports in the news and through social media can inflame an already tense situation. Having an attorney who has experience handling high-net-worth divorces to manage these issues is necessary if a spouse wants to protect their rights and best interests throughout the divorce proceeding.