The divorce between Lisa Marie Presley and her estranged husband, Michael Lockwood, has taken a new sensational twist amid allegations of child abuse and neglect.
This divorce was already rife with complications that could keep the duo in unhappy wedlock for a while as they fight it out.
The couple's postnuptial agreement will govern the division of their assets. Much like a prenuptial agreement, postnuptial aim to limit what each spouse can claim in the event that the marriage falls apart.
At issue, however, is the amount of support Presley should pay her spouse if any. Lockwood wants the court to order Presley to pay him $40,000 a month in spousal support and $100,000 in attorney fees. He believes she owes him that because he sacrificed his own musical career for hers.
Presley maintains that she is unable to afford those kinds of payments because of her own debts, past-due taxes and a lack of money coming in from her own career. In addition, she claims that Lockwood spent more than $1 million on her credit cards without her permission, further hampering her financially.
The newest allegations, however, are a major game-changer. Presley claims that she found "hundreds of inappropriate photos" of their twin daughters on Lockwood's computer. Beverly Hills Police have executed a search warrant on their home and removed over 80 devices belonging to Lockwood at the request of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The allegations of abuse and neglect apparently stem from activity that originated in that state.
Presley's attorneys state that the court should deny Lockwood's request for spousal support based on the fact that the photos have destroyed Presley's "mental or emotional calm." Lockwood maintains his innocence and states that the allegations are a ploy to force him to drop his financial requests.
This type of case, while played out in the headlines, reflects how easily any discordant divorce can explode on multiple levels. Allegations of abuse can endanger child custody, while allegations that one spouse controlled the marriage can upset prenuptial or postnuptial agreements in unexpected ways. Courts often have to wade through a lot of financial records to determine the relative worth of each spouse and the merits of their claims. For that reason alone, it's important to seek legal advice early if you anticipate any fights over spousal support or custody.