High Stakes in Celebrity Divorces
In celebrity divorces, the settlement terms are often complex and unique to the rich and famous.
The divorce settlement between Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren reportedly bans Woods from bringing any girlfriends near their children, while Nordegren is bound to silence. There will be no interviews, talk shows, or tell-all books. Their custody agreement also effectively prevents her from moving back to Sweden.
In this age of multiple divorces, some agreements involve children that are not the biological children of both spouses. It is understood, for example, that Sandra Bullock will continue to be involved with the children of her ex-husband.
Celebrities seem particularly prone to ugly fights, as tabloids, celebrity websites and blogs follow and fan every flame in the latest split, from Halle Berry to Charlie Sheen to Kelsey Grammar.
But if fighting for the kids can bring out the fierce, fighting for the money can bring out the nasty. Even in California—a community property state where marital assets are equally divided—high net worth clients should always consider carefully drawn pre- and even post-nuptial agreements to protect assets.
The worst-case scenario
The divorce battle between Frank and Jamie McCourt for ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers demonstrates what can happen when agreements are not clear, and emotions rather than pragmatic decisions rule. That fight has grown so ugly that the Major League Baseball commissioner stepped in and appointed a trustee for the team, meaning that both Frank and Jamie may lose control of the team they were fighting over.
The Woods vs. Nordegren case also shows the importance of retaining an attorney who understands the complexities of high-asset estates. The legal team representing Nordegren were able to find and untangle assets that proved Woods was worth significantly more than she realized, netting her a record settlement estimated at $750 million.
In California, a San Mateo divorce attorney can offer the experience and attentive counsel you need when dealing with a high asset divorce—and other difficult family law issues.