On February 15, R&B singer Christina Milian and her husband signed a divorce settlement agreement. On February 26, she gave birth to their daughter. On July 16, Milian filed papers on Fulton County family court to have the divorce settlement agreement she signed thrown out. Essentially, Milian claims that she was emotionally coerced into to signing the agreement “only a few days before she delivered the parties’ child.”
Milian, whose real name is Christine Flores, married singer-songwriter “The-Dream” (Terius Nash) in September 2009. Nash filed a petition for divorce in Fulton County Superior Court on February 17. His petition included their divorce settlement agreement and asked the court to incorporate it into a final divorce decree.
Under the divorce settlement agreement, the couple agreed essentially that they had no joint property or assets of any kind after their five-month marriage. Each party was to leave the marriage with the property and debts they brought to it, and neither would owe the other alimony.
Nash’s divorce petition claimed the divorce was amicable, claiming as grounds that the marriage was irretrievably broken. He also claimed the couple was living in a “bona fide state of separation.” The divorce continued through the courts.
On July 12, media reports surfaced claiming that Nash was involved in a romance with his assistant. News of Nash and Milian’s impending divorce hit the press the following day.
Milian abruptly changed her tune On July 16, filing papers asking for the divorce petition to be dismissed and the divorce settlement agreement be thrown out.
What Could Milian Gain From Opposing the Divorce? Alimony.
While no one but Ms. Milian knows the true motivation for her petition to have Nash’s divorce petition dismissed, the legal arguments in her request indicate that she is seeking alimony and, possibly, a more favorable share of the couple’s property.
In order to accomplish that, Milian would need to give a legal reason why the court should throw out a signed divorce settlement agreement. In her court papers, she essentially argues that, because she was only 10 days away from giving birth when she signed the agreement, she was in no fit emotional state to make important legal decisions.
If the court throws out the agreement, the parties could either continue with the divorce as filed but negotiate a new agreement. Instead, Milian has asked for Nash’s divorce petition to be dismissed. (If it is dismissed, either party could re-file.)
Milian’s arguments for why Nash’s petition should be dismissed could be telling. First, she asks for the divorce to be granted on different grounds. Instead of the irreconcilable differences Nash claimed, she wishes the divorce to be granted on the grounds of Nash’s alleged adultery.
She also claims that the couple reconciled after signing the divorce settlement agreement and therefore was not living, as Nash claimed, in a “bona fide state of separation.”
Under Georgia law, both of those allegations have a legal impact on whether alimony can be awarded. When a couple voluntarily agrees to separate, Georgia law generally does not allow alimony — but it can in cases of abandonment or adultery.
Also, if a couple separates but then reconciles before the divorce, any agreement about alimony the couple made before that reconciliation could be void.
If Milian is successful, she could be re-file for divorce on the grounds of adultery and deny any bona fide separation. That could put her in a much stronger position to negotiate for a more favorable settlement.
- “Christina Milian Says No to The-Dream’s Divorce Fantasy” (E! Online, July 27, 2010)
- T.Y. Nash v. C. Flores, Divorce Complaint and Answer, Fulton County Superior Court, Family Division
- Official Code of Georgia, Annotated, §§ 19-6-8, 19-6-12