All Content

Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jun 26, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

H. Wayne Grant, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rusty Wade O’Daniel.

Attorneys 2:

John R. Meldorf, III, Hixson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Sabra Elaine Ellis O’Daniel.

Judge(s): SUSANO

The issues in this divorce case focus, for the most part, on the enforceability and interpretation of a prenuptial agreement entered into by Sabra Elaine Ellis O’Daniel (“Wife”) and Rusty Wade O’Daniel (“Husband”). Shortly after their marriage, Wife was diagnosed with a serious illness that resulted in several extensive hospitalizations. We have determined that the enforcement of the provisions limiting and waiving alimony contained in the parties’ prenuptial agreement is likely to render Wife a public charge. Accordingly, we reverse that portion of the trial court’s judgment holding that these “alimony” provisions are valid and enforceable. We affirm the trial court’s award to Wife of 67 months of health insurance, but do so on a ground other than the one articulated by the trial court. We affirm the trial court’s award to Wife of a judgment for $16,000 based upon Husband’s breach of the prenuptial agreement requiring him to fund a retirement account for Wife. This case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings (1) to consider anew Wife’s request for alimony and (2) to set her attorney’s fees on appeal.