Below is a guest divorce law blog post regarding some of the biggest celebrity prenuptials.
Going through a break-up is never an easy or pleasant experience. How much worse, then, for those with a mighty fortune and property that will be divided and the pressures of fame to deal with? Although it may not seem a very romantic way to start married life, more and more celebrities are opting for a pre-nuptial agreement to try and make any future break-up easier to administer while preserving as much of their personal wealth as possible.
Why Celebrities Make a Pre-Nuptial Agreement
Although it can seem a depressing thing to do, having a ‘pre-nup’ can be about more than simple greed and wanting to hang on to cash. For some, a pre-nuptial agreement can actually relieve tension that might otherwise exist in a relationship to do with money and property. When the marriage is not the first and children are involved, these agreements can protect the interests of the existing families and make life easier for divorce lawyers if things ever come to that.
Agreements can be extremely flexible. When celebrities find themselves having to go through the divorce process, their lawyers will go through any pre-nuptial agreements with a fine-tooth comb. Sometimes these can have unusual clauses that have been carefully tailored to their clients.
Stay With Me
When Nicole Kidman married Keith Urban, their agreement involved her paying him $640,000 per year while they remained married, but removed his rights to receive anything if he ever used illegal drugs again.
Paying for fidelity or marital longevity seems to have become a mainstay of agreements by trying to actively discourage divorce by making it more financially beneficial to remain married. Take music stars Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s arrangement, which sees her set to receive $10,000,000 in the first two years of marriage and $1,000,000 for a further 15 years.
If Katie Holmes were to remain married to Tom Cruise for more than 11 years, she will be entitled to half his fortune. But the $3,000,000 she receives for every year she remains married to him until then is not a bad income to be going on with.
The Big Pay-Off
Pre-nuptial agreements are better known for defining what someone will receive when they leave. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and Michael Douglas would do well to remember it. If he is ever unfaithful to Catherine Zeta-Jones, she would receive a ‘bonus’ payment of $5,000,000 on top of the $2,800,000 for every year of married life.
Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards had a similar idea, agreeing that if either strayed they would pay the other $4,000,000. Russell Crowe would have to stump up an eye-watering minimum $15,000,000 if his marriage to Danielle Spencer ends in divorce. Khole Kardashian is very specific in her requirements, which include a $5,000 per month shopping allowance, courtside season tickets to Lakers games for all her family and a $25,000 monthly amount for support from Lamar Odom in the event of divorce.
So Long, Farewell
Some celebrities use their agreements to avoid large pay-outs. Britney Spears ended up paying her ex-husband Kevin Federline less than £1,000,000 thanks to hers and Kim Kardashian’s assets, including her earnings during marriage, are also protected. Director Steven Spielberg’s agreement was considered invalid as it was written on a napkin and rather than paying nothing, he ended up shelling out £50,000,000 to Amy Irving.
Our guest blogger today is Robert, a blogger and freelance writer with an extensive amount of knowledge on family law. Robert is currently writing for Switalskis Family Law.