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Prenup, mediation used in amicable divorce for Danica Patrick

Last November, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick announced that she and her husband of seven years, Paul Hospenthal, were separating. Patrick made the announcement through her Facebook page. That announcement was posted one day after the couple's seventh anniversary. In some high-profile, or high-asset divorce cases, media reports may focus on contentious battles between the estranged spouses. However, the Patrick-Hospenthal divorce has no such commentary.

Ms. Patrick reportedly filed divorce papers in court in January. By February, news reports began to surface indicating that the NASCAR star was dating a rookie NASCAR driver, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Meanwhile, Danica Patrick continued to seek a settlement in her divorce proceeding. She and her husband reportedly sought to have an amicable divorce.

In 2005, some of the potential issues that could have arisen in the divorce were already anticipated. The couple entered into a prenuptial agreement to address some of the property division and alimony issues that could arise down the road should the couple decide to split. Ms. Patrick and Mr. Hospenthal had no children together, so there were no custody or child support issues.

However, during the course of the seven-year marriage, the couple did acquire property that apparently was not addressed in the prenuptial agreement. The two resolved any of the property division issues, and any other potential disputes through mediation. In family court, the divorce was processed as an uncontested divorce, and the case was finalized April 17.

The divorce was handled in family court in Arizona, but our California readers who may be considering an amicable or uncontested divorce proceeding should know that issues may still need to be addressed. Even where a couple has a prenuptial agreement, legal issues may arise during the course of a marriage that could not have been anticipated. Ms. Patrick and Mr. Hospenthal reportedly chose to use mediation during their amicable divorce. Court papers reportedly state that the two, "participated in the mediation process in order to arrive at a fair and equitable settlement," according to USA Today.

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