When celebrity couples get married, the expense and glamor of it all creates the illusion that their lives are perfect and uncluttered by the everyday troubles of regular people. Of course, that’s obviously not the case. The media inundates us daily with information about every step of any given celebrity’s divorce process, so it’s clear that celebrities experience marriage-ending troubles, too. The type of issues they face will include many pressures not known in most standard marriages (media pressure, time apart), but the result is the same. They, too, end up divorcing, and fighting over children and assets.
Are We Really the Same?
Yes, in some ways. First, the rules of engagement between parties are the same regardless of socioeconomic status. Famous divorce attorney, Laura Wasser, who has represented celebrities including Britney Spears and Angelina Jolie, drives that point home with her list of the top ten rules divorcing couples should follow. She lists ideas, such as clear and respectful communication, counseling, and remembering that the divorce is a business transaction. Not only is it a good list to follow, but the suggestions show that the behavioral guidelines are the same for everyone because they’re relevant for anyone seeking a divorce, whether they’ve reached celebrity status or not.
Second, on the legal frontier, outside of the occasional report of a celebrity getting special judicial treatment, celebrities also have to follow the same legal steps and timelines related to asset division and divorce in general. The requirements vary by state the same way for them, too. But, because they are in the public eye and typically have much more money and other property to divide, there are sure to be some differences, right? Here’s a look.
A Look at Celebrity Asset Division in Divorce
Since celebrity couples typically have more assets to divide, and their lives are more financially complicated than non-celebrities, it makes sense that the division of said property would be more difficult. Such was the case in Mel Gibson’s divorce, where his ex-wife Robin received $425 million in cash and other assets, as well as half of his film residuals for the rest of her life. However, the former Mrs. Gibson filed for divorce in 2009, but it was not finalized until 2011. Regardless of celebrity status, two years is not an uncommon length of time to divide an estate that size.
An additional pressure celebrities may face involves public scrutiny. The spouses may be concerned about the details of their divorce going public, and what image that may convey. If a celebrity’s “goodwill” value is negatively impacted, both parties could suffer financially. So, they may be more inclined to resolves issues quickly and peacefully.
On the other hand, in some celebrity divorces, the path is made easier because each spouse maintained separate bank accounts and individual asset trails throughout the marriage. The Bruce and Kris Jenner divorce is a good example of that scenario. Unfortunately, for the average marriage, that’s generally not the case. That’s because the couple’s finances are not as complicated as they are in celebrity households, there’s only one wage earner, or both parties rely on one another to help pay their bills.
The takeaway is that, when it comes to divorce and asset division, the same procedural rules that apply to non-celebrity couples are supposed to apply to celebrity couples. There are differences, of course, but they focus on the areas of the causes of marital pressure, how assets impact expediency, and motivations for peaceful property division. In short, divorce is challenging for all who undertake it, regardless of socioeconomic status, even if those challenges differ. When it comes to asset division and celebrity divorce, their process is just as decidedly unglamorous as it is for the rest of us.