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Boxer Gatti’s Prenup with Wife Raises Questions

Arturo “Thunder” Gatti was a professional boxer who won world championships in the light welterweight (up to 140 pounds) and super featherweight (up to 130 pounds) weight classes in the 1990s. Before retiring in 2007, Gatti fought in several high profile matches, including four of Ring Magazine’s fights of the year and fights against Oscar de la Hoya and Micky Ward. In 2009 Gatti died under mysterious circumstances in Brazil, and the prenuptial agreement that he had signed with his wife before passing remains an area of contention in court.

Gatti traveled to Brazil with his wife and 10-month old son for vacation. His wife found him dead in their hotel room. Brazilian police initially arrested his wife for his murder, but they released her and ruled his death a suicide. Private investigators, however, ruled his death a homicide. Autopsy information has not been able to provide a definitive answer.

Courts are now trying to split up Gatti’s estate, but the process has been complex since the couple was going to divorce, but his wife said she changed her mind. The prenup that the couple signed did not leave anything to Gatti’s wife – no property or alimony. Gatti reportedly tore up the prenup to demonstrate his love for his wife, but then contacted his law firm to see whether the original was still valid (it was).

While we cannot know the terms of the prenup that Gatti and his wife had, the fact that the prenup left her nothing would likely be a red flag for most family courts. Prenups are generally valid, but both sides need to have separate legal representation, and one side cannot hide anything from the other or coerce the other into signing the agreement. If there was unfairness involved in Gatti’s wife signing their prenup, a court is more likely to not uphold it, enabling his wife to receive something after all.

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce lawyers

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