By John Clark
Danica Patrick, the most successful female driver in the history of NASCAR, has had to overcome numerous obstacles on her way to stardom. So her recent divorce is just a small bump in the road, according to the Sporting News.
Earlier this month, Patrick announced that she was filing for divorce from her husband of seven years. In her divorce petition, Patrick claimed that she and her husband, Paul Hospenthal, a physical therapist, suffered from “irreconcilable differences.”
In a sign that Patrick has now reached international stardom, Patrick’s divorce was reported as far away as the United Kingdom, where the Daily Mail discussed her divorce despite the publication’s relative lack of interest in motorsports.
But Patrick seems relatively unconcerned about the proceedings. When asked by reporters about how the divorce is affecting her personal life, Patrick deflected the question and simply said she felt “really good.”
Part of Patrick’s calm may be attributable to the fact that she and her husband are not expected to engage in a prolonged divorce dispute. On the contrary, it sounds like their personal divorce attorneys will have relatively simple jobs.
Sources note that Patrick and her husband signed a prenuptial agreement before they were married that prevents both parties from asking for alimony payments.
Courts typically enforce prenuptial agreements, provided that they were signed in good faith and neither party was coerced into agreeing to an unreasonable restriction on his or her legal rights.
Prenuptial agreements are particularly common when celebrities or people with deep pockets get married, as they tend to offer assurance that the wealthier spouse will not be unfairly burdened in the event of a divorce.
Thanks to the presence of the prenuptial agreement, as well as both parties’ reluctance to let the dispute linger, sources expect Patrick’s divorce to be resolved in just a few months.
In the meantime, Patrick plans to participate in a full racing schedule this year with her team, Stewart-Haas Racing.
Sources say the racecar driver is in the fourth year of her transition to NASCAR. Previously, Patrick had participated in the IndyCar circuit. Last year, Patrick finished tenth in the Nationwide Series, which was a very respectable finish for the relative newcomer.
Patrick announced her intention to file for divorce just three days after her final race in 2012, and seems eager to move past it. In her words, “the on-track stuff” helps put her in a “good mood,” and leads to her life feeling “pretty straight-forward right now.”