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Ashley Judd and Dario Franchitti to divorce

Texas readers who follow auto racing or the movies may have been saddened to hear that actress Ashley Judd and race driver Dario Franchitti are planning to end their marriage. The couple announced recently that they have mutually made the decision to get a divorce.

Franchitti, a native of Scotland, has won the Indianapolis 500 three times. Judd has a long string of acting credits; recently she had a major role in the TV show "Missing." The couple wed 11 years ago at a castle in Scotland. Judd knew next to nothing about auto racing before she met Franchitti; during their marriage she became a fan. She is said to be considering a run for the U.S. Senate from her native Kentucky. He is 39; she is 44. They have no children together.

When a well-to-do couple without children divorces, property division is likely to be the only major issue to be resolved. News reports do not indicate whether Judd and Franchitti have a prenuptial agreement. If they do, that will make the process that much easier.

In Texas, courts in divorce cases divide marital property on a fair and equitable basis. Marital property is that property which the couple acquired during the marriage. Separate property, which each party brought to the marriage, remains separate.

Judd and Franchitti issued a joint statement to a magazine in which they spoke of their respect for each other and said they will always be family. Perhaps that's a good sign. Dissolution of marriage does not have to be a long, bitter litigation fight. Couples can choose to be civil to each other and to work things out through discussion and negotiation.

Source: USA Today, "Ashley Judd, Dario Franchitti announce plan to divorce," Jan. 30, 2013

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