Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Refusal To Sign A Prenuptial Agreement Draws The Wrath Of Wealthy Family Behind Orkin Pest Control
Why did Birmingham resident Sherry Carroll Rollins become the victim of a monstrous cheat job in an Alabama divorce case?
Several factors probably were involved, but this appears to be No. 1 on the list: Ms. Rollins refused a last-minute effort to force her into a prenuptial agreement; so when she tried to divorce a member of the powerful clan behind Orkin Pest Control, the family made her pay dearly.
Sherry and Ted Rollins were married for roughly 10 years before she filed for divorce in Greenville, South Carolina, where they lived at the time. Ms. Rollins cited infidelity as one of her grounds for divorce, and the case was litigated in Greenville for three years; multiple court documents show that jurisdiction firmly was established in South Carolina.
A judge there found that Ted Rollins was president of a real-estate development firm called St. James Capital, regularly flew in private jet craft, and belonged to one of the wealthiest families in the country. A judge also found Ted Rollins in contempt of court for failure to pay child support, and a bench warrant for his arrest was in place for more than two years.
In other words, the legal landscape in South Carolina did not look so favorable for Ted Rollins. But those with plenty of money apparently can change the scenery in a hurry.
How did Ted Rollins do it? First, he violated a court order to maintain mortgage and insurance payments on the marital residence in Greenville. That caused Sherry Rollins and the couple's two daughters to be kicked out of the house, and they fled to Alabama, where Ms. Rollins had relatives.
Ted Rollins then proceeded to sue for divorce in Alabama, even though black-letter law shows that cannot be done when jurisdiction is established in another state. The Birmingham metro area, however, proved to be a friendly location for Ted Rollins' legal interests.
Bradley Arant, his corporate law firm, has headquarters here. Rollins' current business enterprise, Campus Crest Communities, has sites at four Alabama universities. And a Shelby County judge named D. Al Crowson was willing to bend the law beyond recognition in order to give Mr. Rollins a spectacularly favorable--and unlawful--result.
The curious reader might ask, "Why would Ted Rollins go to all of that trouble? Why not make his wife a reasonable settlement offer and get it over with?"
Here is the answer: Our research indicates that Ted Rollins is the only member of his mega-wealthy family, male or female, to get married without a prenuptial agreement. That fact, plus Ted Rollins' misconduct during the course of the marriage--which goes beyond infidelity to documented abuse of Ms. Rollins' son from a previous marriage--means a member of the family behind Orkin Pest Control stood to get taken to the proverbial cleaners in divorce court.
It's not that the Rollins clan didn't try to force a prenup down Sherry Rollins' throat. But they did it under extraordinary circumstances, and on such outrageous terms, that she refused to sign it.
Ted Rollins violated family protocol by going ahead with the wedding anyway. Why would he do that? Evidence suggests he had extremely dark motives.
Evidence also shows that the Rollins family abuses those who would dare marry into their exalted midst. The story of Sherry Rollins, and the prenuptial agreement she refused to sign, is a prime example.
(To be continued)