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Anastasia Greer
Legal Intern at JUSTLAW
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SHOULD’VE HAD A PRENUP: SCARY CELEBRITIES DIVORCE SETTLEMENTS 

Author : Anastasia Greer, Legal Intern at JUSTLAW

These celebrities had a lot to lose in their divorces without a prenup in place. Don’t let this be you.

While 3% of average Americans who are married or engaged reported that they had a prenuptial agreement in place, these celebrities who did not fall within that 3% had a lot more to lose in their divorces. Read more below:

CELEBRITIES

  1. MADONNA

The iconic pop diva’s 2008 divorce from Guy Ritchie resulted in Ritchie receiving a $75 million dollar settlement of her nearly $490 million in net worth at the time. This settlement included the pub that the couple co-owed in London as well as their country estate in Western England. According to Rolling Stone magazine, the sum was “one of the highest divorce settlements in U.K. history.” What is more, a friend of Madonna’s told the Daily News that, because Madonna didn’t make Guy Richie sign a prenuptial agreement, he went after a chunk of her massive fortune.

  1. MICHAEL JORDAN

Before his current marriage to Yvette Prieto, basketball star Michael Jordan’s divorce after 17 years with Juanita Vanoy ended in a $168 million settlement. This was the most expensive divorce in the industry at the time. In addition to the near $246 million in today’s dollars, Juanita also received their seven-acre mansion in Chicago as part of the settlement. Safe to say that, following his divorce from Prieto in 2006, Prieto signed a prenuptial agreement in an effort to protect Jordan’s near $650 million left. Pockets were emptied and lessons were learned.

  1. STEVEN SPIELBERG

In 1989, the world-renowned director and his aspiring actress ex-wife Amy Irving ended on a note as sour as a $100 million divorce settlement after the napkin they’d attempted to write their prenup on was vacated by a CA judge for being illegitimate. Spielberg learned an expensive lesson about the importance of official documentation and the proper way to execute a prenuptial agreement.

  1. WENDY WILLIAMS 

The acclaimed talk television personality and ex-Kevin Hunter was entitled to half of William’s nearly $40 million dollar financial empire. As part of their divorce, the couple split the sale of their Livingston, NJ manor in addition to a $250,000 payment to secure new living arrangements throughout the mediation of the divorce in 2019. What about Williams’s nearly $1 million life insurance policy? She was also forced to hold pending the divorce proceedings a nearly $1 million life insurance policy in case she were to pass and her television show ends so that Hunter continues to get paid. The policy can still be reduced so long as it secures enough to cover the severance owed to Hunter.

  1. JOHNNY DEPP – AMBER HEARD 

While their recent defamation trial made headlines this year, the legal battles of actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard began in 2017 when the couple filed for divorce – without a prenuptial agreement in place. At the time, Depp’s net worth was estimated to be over eighteen times the size of Heard’s and Heard initially sought $50,000 per month in spousal support in order to maintain the lifestyle that she had while she was with Depp. Contingent on their divorce settlement was Heard’s promised $7 million charitable donation. Their marriage of only 16 months turned into an over-6-year mess of controversy and litigation. The unfortunate airing of the couple’s dirty laundry from this point forward could have very well been mitigated if a prenuptial agreement was in place from the start.

  1. JAMES CAMERON

The Oscar-nominated director’s divorce from his ex-wife Linda Hamilton in 1999 was without a prenup. This resulted in a messy divorce settlement with a staggering $50 million awarded to Hamilton- a number incorporating the nearly $1.8 billion Cameron made from the movie Titanic during the course of their marriage. Had there been a meeting of the minds and prenuptial agreement beforehand, the large amount of publicity and litigation costs surrounding their divorce could have easily been avoided beforehand.

  1. IN RECENT NEWS: TOM BRADY AND GISELE BUNDCHEN 

Rumors spreading of the NFL quarterback and supermodel’s possible separation and pending divorce have left many wondering whether the couple had a prenuptial agreement in place before they were married in 2009. In terms of their independent wealth, Bundchen’s is found to be closer to $450 million, while that of her soon-to-be ex-husband is a lesser $250 million. We will have to see how the divorce pans out in terms of settlement dollars and whether the couple had a prenuptial agreement in place.

These celebrity divorces demonstrate just how preventative, effective, and necessary prenuptial agreements can be to preserve assets and amiability between exes. These celebrities were not the only ones who stood to benefit from having prenuptial agreements in place. You do too. However, finding a reputable attorney to help with the process is key.

JUSTLAW is here to help. Please call us at 1-888-587-8187 to start the process here today.

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