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Family Law: The Divorce Blog
Celebrities Without Pre-Nups Face Painful Divorces
The recent announcement that Kelsey Grammer and his wife Camille are divorcing has been big news. What?s an even bigger story is the fact that the multi-millionaire Grammer did not have a prenuptial agreement.
A recent article on a pop-culture website gives us a list of the top ten celebrities that didn?t have a prenup when they needed it most. Here is a sampling from the list of famous and most expensive divorces without a prenup.
When Mel Gibson got divorced after 28 years of marriage, he was forced to give up a full 50 percent of the money he earned over the course of their marriage.The result? A whooping $900 million was divided between the two, leaving his ex-wife Robyn with $450 million.
Another major notable divorce was the dream couple Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe. Both are household names, but at the time of their divorce, Reese Witherspoon was making approximately 8 times per movie what her husband earned, $20 million a picture versus $2.5 million. Their lack of a prenup caused Witherspoon to split the savings fifty-fifty.
A prenup-lacking divorce that could have ended up costing the main bread winner a lot more than it did was the Madonna-Guy Ritchie divorce. Despite the fact that Madonna was worth an estimated $500 million, and the fact that she didn?t have a prenup, she should consider herself lucky that she was able to settle for a rumored $76-to-$92 million divorce settlement.
One couple that isn?t divorced, but is still lacking a prenup, is Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. Ellen was quoted stating her opinion that prenups are unromantic, and that this was the reason that, despite her $63 million net worth, she does not have one. Giving away half of her multi-million dollar fortune would, however, probably also not sit well with the actress and talk show host.
In 1990, Roseanne Barr?s attorney suggested that she get a prenup with her soon-to-be husband Tom Arnold. Roseanne?s attorney was fired. Four years later the two divorced and Tom Arnold walked away with $50 million, probably to her lawyer’s satisfaction.
The near-divorce between Larry King and his eighth wife almost went down as one of the largest of all time. Larry King allegedly cheated on his wife with her sister, and, lacking a prenup, a divorce could have cost him over $70 million. Fortunately for King, and his financial portfolio, he was able to reunite the marriage.
There seems to be no end to the list of famous people who have decided to let the local and state laws split their assets during a divorce. Prenuptial agreements are, if nothing else, a great tool to keep things predictable. But for every prepared couple, there will be a Rosanne and Ellen ready to ignore the common sense of a prenup for what they deem to be a more romantic route.
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