The lives of celebrities, and in particular their marriages and divorces, are a popular source of news stories for many media outlets, and any report of an imminent wedding or relationship split is often accompanied by speculation over whether or not the couple had signed a prenuptial agreement.
The latest couple to find themselves under the spotlight is actor Johnny Depp and his wife Amber Heard. The couple recently announced their intention to split after only one year of marriage, and according to recent reports they have no prenuptial agreement in place.
The absence of a prenuptial agreement means that their divorce is likely to be subject to the laws of the state where the couple live - California. ET reports that under California law, the principle of ‘community property’ will apply to the division of assets, which generally means that assets accumulated during the course of the marriage are divided equally between the couple.
Johnny Depp is estimated to have a net worth of around $400 million, including around $30 million earned in just 2015. On the other hand, estimates of Amber Heard’s wealth range from $4.5 million to $9 million.
Other famous couples who got married without the benefit of a prenuptial agreement include Madonna and Guy Ritchie. Their marriage came to an end in 2008 and Guy was awarded a settlement of around $92 million, reports Fox News. Paul McCartney also decided against having a prenuptial agreement in place when he married Heather Mills in 2002, even though he had a net worth of around $660 million. When the couple divorced in 2008 Heather reportedly received a settlement figure of £35 million.
One celebrity couple whose divorce has recently hit the headlines and who did have a prenuptial agreement in place is rapper Wiz Khalifa and his wife Amber Rose.
They were married in 2013 but divorce proceedings were filed only one year later, reports the Belfast Telegraph. The couple had apparently signed a prenuptial agreement before getting married, and under the terms of this agreement Amber Rose is reportedly entitled to $1 million.
Although prenuptial agreements are generally only discussed in the media in relation to the marriages of the rich and famous, their relevance is not restricted to celebrity couples but can actually play an important role in many marriages.
A prenuptial agreement sets out how a couple’s assets, including money and property, will be divided in the event of a divorce. It can also be used to set out important practical arrangements with regards to any children that result from the marriage, for example what custody and maintenance arrangements will be put in place.
For professional legal advice on the issues discussed here, or on any other family law matter, contact our expert family lawyers today.