To any single celebrities out there who happen to frequent legal gossip blogs, we offer you this piece of friendly advice: Before getting hitched, make your future spouse sign a prenup.
Sounds pretty obvious, right? But consider this, from Forbes’s Prenup Primer:
Last week, Britney Spears filed for divorce from her two-year marriage to Kevin Federline, whose nickname has gone from “K-Fed” to “Fed-Ex.” [A] day later, actors Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe also filed for divorce.
The difference between the two: Witherspoon did not have a prenuptial agreement, and Phillippe will likely have a claim to a substantial portion of her $60 million estimated net worth. The estimated $29 million in earnings from her next film may also be at stake — her ex could get half.
But Spears did have a prenuptial agreement. In fact, it was a 60-page agreement that protects most of her estimated $100 million fortune. Britney could get away with paying Federline a measly $300,000, which he says he is owed, plus $30,000 a month for half the number of years they were married, which would amount to one year. That’s pocket change for Britney.
More about the Britney Spears prenup, from the Daily Mail:
Britney even staged an elaborate sham wedding, again to protect her fortune.
The event, on September 18, 2004, in the modest back garden of a friend’s house in the Los Angeles suburb of Studio City, was meant to be the “real thing.” But with Federline yet to sign the pre-nup, a proper wedding could not go ahead.
So, with the paparazzi on her case, Britney decided to stage the “fake” wedding — and drew up a watertight contract to ensure the ceremony was not legally binding.
The pair were then married for real in a secret ceremony on October 6 — after Federline had signed the agreement that banned him from making any future claim against any assets his wife had prior to their marriage.
British newspapers are way more fun than ours. We love the colorful description of Spears’s attorney, Laura Wasser, as “one of Hollywood’s most ruthless lawyers.”
For an impressively detailed analysis of the legal issues surrounding the timing of the Spears-Federline wedding(s) and prenup, check out Death and Taxes — The Blog.
World Exclusive – Every detail of Britney Spears’ pre nup and £65 million fortune [Daily Mail]
Divorce Docs Prove Britney Faked Her “Wedding” [TMZ.com]
Prenup Primer [Forbes]
Sometimes I Run, Sometimes I Hide, Sometimes I Blog About Britney and K-Fed [Death and Taxes - The Blog]
The Role of the Prenup in the Timing of Britney Spears’ Divorce [TaxProf Blog]