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The Golden Bachelor: Not Always a Fairytale Ending

The Golden Bachelor divorce

Unfortunately for many marriages, happily ever after doesn’t last forever, with approximately half of marriages ending in divorce. This is especially true for the Golden Bachelor couple. After accepting the final rose along with an engagement ring, Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner, of the Golden Bachelor, tied the knot in a live ceremony aired on January 4, 2024, looking forward to their happily ever after. Before they even made it to their honeymoon in Italy, however, their fairytale ended when the couple announced their plans to divorce just three short months after walking down the aisle, leaving fans in shock. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon scenario as non-celebrities oftentimes find themselves in similar situations to that of Gerry and Theresa and other well-known celebrity couples [i.e Britney Spears and Jason Alexander – 55 hours; Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries – 72 days; Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman – 9 days].  

A Guide to Short-Term Marriage in Ohio 

There is no doubt that ending a marriage and navigating the legal process is overwhelming even if the marriage is short-lived. In Ohio, a short-term marriage is typically considered to be less than five years of marriage, although there is no definite, magic number. It is crucial to understand how to navigate the ins and outs of a short-term marriage in Ohio just as it is with a long-term marriage. For instance, if Gerry and Theresa terminated their marriage in Ohio, some of the issues that may arise during the divorce process are the following:  

Who Keeps the Engagement Ring?

Ohio courts have established engagement rings as conditional gifts that are made when one partner proposes marriage to another. If and when the parties are then married, the courts consider the condition to be met, leaving the receiving partner with entitlement to the ring as his/her separate property. Therefore, once a marriage is finalized, even though the giving partner may have purchased the ring [no matter the expense], it is considered the sole property of the partner who received the ring.   

As for Theresa, whose divorce is not pending in Ohio and who participated in a television show, she not only has to part ways with Gerry but also part ways with her 3.15-carat princess-cut diamond engagement ring. Unfortunately, the fate of her engagement ring, as required by the show, has to be returned to Neil Lane, who designed the ring for Gerry. She can keep the memories, but not the ring.

Who keeps the engagement ring after a divorce

Did the Parties Sign Prenuptial Agreements?

A prenuptial agreement, often called an antenuptial agreement, is a contract entered into by two parties contemplating marriage. In a divorce, if the prenuptial agreement is found to be valid and enforceable, it can protect each party’s premarital assets and determine the division of assets and debts of the parties acquired during the marriage as well as determine if spousal support should be awarded. See Do You and Your Partner Need a Prenuptial Agreement? Handling the Financial Partnership in Marriage. In a short-term marriage, it is likely that the parties did not acquire many assets or debts that were not initially contemplated by the prenuptial agreement. As a result, dividing the assets and debts not contemplated will be less complicated. 

If the parties of the short-term marriage did not enter into a prenuptial agreement and have not acquired much property together during the marriage, the parties usually take what they brought to the marriage and go their separate ways. However, any property that was purchased by the parties during the marriage [if purchased with marital funds], including any debt accumulated by the parties, will most likely be divided in an equitable manner between the parties.

did the parties sign prenuptial agreements

Is Either Spouse Entitled to Spousal Support?

Spousal support is the payment by one spouse to another for both the sustenance and support of the receiving spouse after marriage. Generally, in determining spousal support, a court considers various factors in a marriage including, but not limited to, the length of the marriage, the standard of living of the parties during the marriage, and the earning capacities of each spouse. In addition, a prenuptial agreement addressing spousal support, if found valid, will be taken into consideration. Because one of the most critical factors in considering an award of spousal support is the length of the marriage, awarding spousal support for a short-term marriage is much less likely.

Here for You After the Fairytale

When there is no happily ever after and the fairytale ends with a divorce, our experienced divorce attorneys at Plakas Mannos can help you navigate through the divorce process no matter whether your marriage lasts for 55 hours or 55 years. Contact us today to get started.



About the Authors

Square Headshot of Marietta M. Pavlidis Square Headshot of Brooke Meneses

Marietta Pavlidis is a litigation attorney who practices in family law, divorce, dissolution, spousal support, and workers’ compensation law. Brooke Meneses is an associate attorney who is also practicing family law, divorce, dissolution, spousal support, and more.

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