Celebrity Gossip

Demystifying Myths About Dividing Assets in Divorce: Part 3 – The Contribution Factor – Celebrity Edition

Perhaps growing up in Los Angeles took some of the fun out of celebrity gossip, but I never understood the fascination with stories about what is in the shopping cart of the (often shorter than advertised) celebrity standing in front of me at the grocery store.  One aspect of celebrity gossip that has piqued my interest in recent years has been celebrity divorces, or more specifically, the public’s reaction to celebrity divorces and how it mirrors a lot of the same misconceptions we hear as divorce practitioners.

The fairly recent divorce between Amazon founder (and the reason most celebrities no longer go to the grocery store), Jeff Bezos, and his now ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, comes to mind as a situation in which everyone seemed to have a “hot take” about the couples’ divorce financials.  Given the staggering wealth being divided in the divorce, one of the comments I regularly saw on social media was “what did she do to deserve that much of his money?”  Despite the misguided gender stereotypes being at an all-time high, the short response (as confirmed by Mr. Bezos, himself) was “a lot.”

In the third edition of this series about demystifying myths on dividing … Keep reading

First of all, to our past, present, and future readers, we want to thank you for reading and wish you all a very Happy New Year!  We hope that our articles provide you with some new insight and perspective, as well as the occasional levity to the often challenging (but always interesting) divorce process.  In this “fake news” era, I thought it would be helpful to start the year by dispelling some “myths” and “misconceptions” of the divorce process, specifically, as they apply to the ubiquitous issue of dividing assets in a divorce.  I hope you enjoy.

Divorce practitioners are very familiar with our clients’ “friend” who was awarded all of the assets in the divorce because [insert divorce myth here].  The topic of these unscathed friends comes up frequently in the context of the initial intake meeting in which we discuss goals and expectations in the divorce process with our prospective clients.  Truth is, everyone going through the divorce process (for the first time) will inevitably have certain expectations about how the marital assets will be divided at the end of the divorce.  Often times, the expectations are rooted in someone else’s prior experience with the process.  As … Keep reading

First of all, to our past, present, and future readers, we want to thank you for reading and wish you all a very Happy New Year!  We hope that our articles provide you with some new insight and perspective, as well as the occasional levity to the often challenging (but always interesting) divorce process.  In this “fake news” era, I thought it would be helpful to start the year by dispelling some “myths” and “misconceptions” of the divorce process, specifically, as they apply to the ubiquitous issue of dividing assets in a divorce.  I hope you enjoy.

Divorce practitioners are very familiar with our clients’ “friend” who was awarded all of the assets in the divorce because [insert divorce myth here].  The topic of these unscathed friends comes up frequently in the context of the initial intake meeting in which we discuss goals and expectations in the divorce process with our prospective clients.  Truth is, everyone going through the divorce process (for the first time) will inevitably have certain expectations about how the marital assets will be divided at the end of the divorce.  Often times, the expectations are rooted in someone else’s prior experience with the process.  As … Keep reading

If Beyoncé can be cheated on, is there any hope for the rest of us?
Really though, if Beyoncé can be cheated on, is there any hope for the rest of us?

Hi there,

On a gorgeous day like today, you just want to sit outside and sip on a tall glass of lemonade. Recently though, the taste of lemonade has been made a little sharp by the fabulous Beyoncé. Infidelity became a hot topic with her recent release of Lemonade, a scathing, seemingly confessional visual album. As strident a response to infidelity as it was, she has also shone a light on the number of marriages that do survive unfaithfulness.… Keep reading

Apples

Apples
Between Apple and conscious uncoupling, I can’t decide which is more “creative.”

Hi there,

My clever coworker, Abigail Munafo, pointed out to me today that I have a category entitled “Celebrity Trash,” and I haven’t posted to it in a while. So, it was extremely timely to read that Gwyneth Paltrow is getting divorced from what’s his name. They chose to do it amicably, a good choice, and called it “conscious uncoupling,” a peculiar choice. Coming from a couple who named their child after a fruit, it’s somehow not all that surprising.… Keep reading

Ron Barriere Massachusetts Divorce Lawyer Burns & Levinson

Hi there,Ron Barriere Massachusetts Divorce Lawyer Burns & Levinson

I have the pleasure of working with a very skilled and funny colleague, Ron Barriere, who for reasons unknown to me follows too much reality TV and has written a very informative post on the divorce of Ms. Kim Kardashian.

Best,

Nancy

My house is the battleground in the ongoing war for reality television supremacy.  I have backed the traditional powerhouse of sport; my wife is a staunch supporter of the upstart soap opera-style antics of trashy housewives and amorous bachelors and bachelorettes.  What a godsend, then, has been the “Humpdashian” saga and its mash-up of pro basketball, reality television’s first family, and surprisingly complex family law issues.  (I will leave the “what is real and what is reality TV?” debate to media critics and sociology professors.)  The latest news from the front raises interesting questions about the distinctions between divorce and alimony, and the legal (and, sometimes, religious) significance of fault in the dissolution of a marriage.

I cannot pretend to know the entire back-and-forth of this saga, nor can I comment upon the accuracy – or inaccuracy – of the reportage to date.  Therefore, for the purposes of this article, I’m going to discuss … Keep reading

Domestic Violence in the News

Hi there,

Jovan Belcher
Credit: newyorker.com

The news has been full of the sad story of football player Jovan Belcher shooting his baby’s mother 9 times, then driving to the practice field and killing himself in front of his coaches. There has been lots of punditry surrounding football and concussions, guns, drugs and alcohol, and even mental illness, but not so much discussion of what is likely the real issue: domestic violence.  (Here’s a link to a good article I recently found about keeping yourself safe in a  domestic violence situation.)

There were plenty of clues that Belcher had anger issues with the girlfriends in his life, and it appears that the Chiefs were aware of this as they were providing counselling for him.  Professional sports is a very high testosterone universe. I have long believed that the professional sports teams, in an attempt to protect their investment in the players, have long sheltered abusers and quieted victims.  Not the same as Penn State, but not dissimilar either.

On a more positive note in the same area, Massachusetts has passed a pet protection law as part of our domestic violence protection. This is wonderful on so many levels, … Keep reading

Hi there,

It is always sad to see two such affable celebrities as Arnold and Maria split. They have been together for 34 years and married for 25, and thus are right in the danger zone for divorce. With the kids mainly grown and both of their careers in transition it is no surprise that they also were looking at reevaluating their marriage. I would speculate that they had (or should have had) a prenuptial agreement. Under the circumstances of the marriage (her family wealth, both of their then careers) a prenuptial would have made sense, to at least set the parameters for division of property and spousal support. Pre nuptial agreements cannot effect children’s rights so custody and child support would not have been covered in a prenuptial. If they did not have one, California is a community property state and much of their joint wealth has presumably been accumulated in the time of their marriage, and thus will be equally divided. Interestingly, once they separate their incomes become their own. At their level of wealth, the fight – if there is one – will be about values, not division. They also will not need to worry about … Keep reading

Hi there,

I hope you all had as nice an Easter as I did, although looking at this rainy Thursday, it seems too long ago.

Once upon a time, (a long, long time ago) I represented a woman who was convinced that her ex was hiding mega millions of dollars, both from her and from the government.  She was a very bright, very organized and very driven woman, and lo and behold she was right!  Imagine my surprise to see her on a TV program on expensive divorces.

On another note, I have written a number of times about the need to be wary of social media when you are divorcing.  Put nothing on the web that you don’t care to have your spouse show the judge!  A New Jersey belly dancer didn’t post her pictures (because she was afraid of the blow back), but her words sufficed.

And finally, I simply could not miss an opportunity to comment on this latest Royal Wedding.  I remember getting up at the crack of dawn to watch Princess Diana get married, in what was probably the ugliest wedding gown ever.  I have no intention of getting up tomorrow to watch … Keep reading

Hi there,

Things have been crazy busy lately and I just had a chance to catch up on the news from a favorite site of mine, The Daily Beast.  Here are a few that I found most interesting.

I was at first astonished, and then not so surprised to learn that your credit card company can predict your coming marital woes.  When they said the husband (or wife) is the last to know, I don’t think they had Visa in mind.

I am always interested in changing public (and not so public) attitudes about marriage and extramarital sex, so I was amused to read about the newest Broadway offering in this regard.  Somehow the wife doesn’t seem to have been considered, nor I might add, the unnerving possibility of a divorce lawyer in their future.

And finally, another celebrity kamikaze divorce.  The McCourt’s got their start in Boston and are ending on the west coast.

Enjoy!

Best,

Nancy… Keep reading