Celebrity marriages are notorious for breaking down quickly and would explain why many celebrity lawyers draw up iron clad prenuptial agreements before the happy couples take their vows.
Here are 9 Famous Divorce cases with no prenuptial agreement and the financially disastrous consequences:
Here's a look at how nine celebrity couples parted without the legal contract to protect their estate and wallets.
1. Mel Gibson and Robyn Denise Moore Gibson
After 28 years of marriage, the Oscar winning Mel Gibson and his wife Robyn Denise Moore Gibson divorced due to "irreconcilable differences". At the time Mel Gibson's fortune was estimated at $900 million and under California law marital assets are split evenly, with no prenuptial agreement in place.
2. Madonna and Guy Ritchie
The pop singer and the filmmaker Guy Ritchie also had no prenup in place and had a quick divorce in the High Court of London resulting in Ritchie receiving between $76 and $92 million in the settlement.
3. Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe
Again, with no prenup in place, California law gave Phillippe half of Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoons' fortune. At the time Witherspoon was earning more than $15 million per film and Phillippe was estimated to ne making somewhere within the range of $3 million a film.
4. Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold
Roseanne Barr actually fired her attorney for making the suggestion that she should get a prenuptial agreement with actor Tom Arnold. After the split 4 years later, Tom walked away with $50 Million.
5. Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills (divorced 2007)
With the whole world being convinced that heather Mills was a gold digger which would cost McCartney dearly, the ex Beatles star ignored the warnings and married Mills without a prenuptial agreement in 2002. 5 years later the couple split and with no prenup protection, McCarnteny hired the lawyer who represented Prince Charles in his divorces from Princess Diana, Fiona Shackleton.
That was a good move to some extent as Mills received cash and assets to the value of $35 Million as opposed to the $100 Million that was being mentioned in the media.
6. Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer
The wedding that captivated the world ended in divorce with Princess Diana being awarded a $25 million settlement.
7. Michael Jordan and Juanita Jordan
Juanita filed for divorce in 2002 and after a 17 year marriage the she was awarded
awarded a seven-bedroom home in Chicago and $168 million.
8. Greg Norman (Golfer) and Laura Andrassy
When Golf player Greg Norman's wife suspected that the famous golfer was having an affair, she immediately filed for divorce. The messy proceedings ended with Norman's ex wife receiving a $107 Million settlement and Norman moving to to marry the suspected adultress Chris Everett.
9. Ray Parlour and Karen Parlour
These two may not be the most famous divorce cases but they do represent a landmark in divorce history. British footballer Ray Parlour and his wife of four years split in 1999 and the wife was awarded two homes and a $450,000 lump sum payment.
However, alimony could not be agreed upon at the time and finally a verdict was reached in 2004 that for the next five years, Karen Parlour would receive annual alimony payments of almost $900,000. This essentially gave her access to her ex husbands future earnings post divorce, as opposed to his current assets. This was a landmark decision resulting in a massive surge in prenuptial agreements.
You don't have to have a famous divorce to be severely impacted by the lack of a prenuptial agreement. It is not important what your current level of income is, a prenuptial agreement protects both parties and is a way to protect both parties' legal rights.
Hugh Heffner couldn't have said it better:
"I had a prenup the last time I got married," said Hefner, who's said to be worth around $43 million.
"Why would anyone assume I wouldn't have one this time? A prenup protects everyone."
For more information on drafting prenuptial agreements, contact a prenup lawyer at the Law Offices of Brian D Perskin.