We’ve all seen the scandalous and enthralling headlines about celebrity divorces. Prenups are notably very popular with the elite, rich and famous as they often have more to lose from a marital split. High value mansions, millions of dollars, lavish diamonds, and opulent trinkets – it’s no great surprise that celebs want to protect their assets before they amble down the aisle.
Are prenups only for celebs?
Whether you’re a celeb or a civilian, a prenup can offer a lot of financial security for the future, and contrary to common belief, they aren’t only for Hollywood royalty.
A prenuptial agreement (also known as a premarital agreement or prenup) is a written legal contract drawn up between two people engaged to be married; it’s a little bit like an insurance policy for your possessions incase the marriage doesn’t work out.
You don’t have to have millions in the bank or your own private island to consider a prenup. It’s fair to say that everyone has assets, property, or finances that they consider their own (regardless of assets) and these are what you’re looking to protect through a prenuptial agreement.
Some quick celebrity divorce facts
Certain rumored celebrity prenups have become legendary over the years for their lofty demands and unusual stipulations. It makes good sense for celebrity couples to get prenups as the average divorce rate for Hollywood celebs is 52%.
- The largest known divorce settlement in Hollywood was between Mel Gibson and his ex-wife Robyn. In 2009, Gibson paid Robyn a colossal $245 million as a divorce settlement.
- Britney Spears has the honor of the shortest celebrity marriage at 56 hours from aisle to annulment with Jason Alexander.
- Other short celebrity marriages include Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmonds (2 weeks), Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries (2 ½ months) and Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley (9 months).
- The infamous Zsa Zsa Gabor got married an impressive 9 times.
Celeb prenups and their unusual conditions
- Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel
Having a reputation for being a bit of a heartbreaker in his bachelor years may have prompted the provisions behind this prenup.
In order to protect herself, Biel allegedly insisted that their prenup include an infidelity clause, meaning that Timberlake will have to pay Biel $500,000 if he cheats on her.
Not only that, Biel reportedly also included a provision that she would only consider having children with Justin on the provision he stays faithful for several years.
2. Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman
As the wealthier one in the partnership, Nicole Kidman was rightly advised to protect her assets with a prenup before marrying singer Keith Urban.
While their union continues to be one of the most rock solid in Hollywood, there was one overriding factor that apparently prompted Kidman to pen a prenup.
In their contract, Kidman has allegedly agreed to gift her husband $640,000 for every year of marriage. However, as a renowned recovering cocaine addict, one provision in the agreement is that he will forfeit every penny of this bonus income if he ever relapses back into addiction.
Married since 2006, and still going strong, we hope this is one prenup that never gets enforced. In fact, sources say that Urban had no qualms with the prenup or the clause as he believes in his marriage and wants to stay clean.
3. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Married for almost 7 years and with 4 beautiful children, news of Kim filing for divorce was a surprise to all. Allegedly it took months for the prenup to be put together due to the complexity of assets.
Provisions cited in the prenup include that Kim will receive $1 million for every year married to the famed rapper. She will also keep their mansion, her wedding ring and any gifts Kanye bought her during the union. Kanye also has a life insurance policy worth over $20 million, and Kim will remain the sole beneficiary of this for the foreseeable future. Kim can also keep all her income from TV appearances and her clothing lines. One unusual clause in the agreement was that Kris Jenner was not permitted to make any career decisions which would affect the couple.
4. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
When news of their split came in 2016, Brangelina fans across the globe were shocked. After 12 years together, 2 years of marriage and 6 kids, this has been one reportedly acrimonious split.
However, they did have a prenup in place which has no doubt minimized divorce negotiations.
The IB Times also states that an alleged adultery clause was added to the couple’s prenuptial agreement granting Jolie primary custody of all six kids should Pitt be unfaithful. As we all know, custody cannot be contracted into a prenuptial agreement. The couple’s prenup also states that any assets they earned together during their marriage would go into a trust for their kids.
5. Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones
Despite Douglas’ net worth, Zeta Jones is reported to receive a whopping $2.8 million for every year they are married, thanks to a creative prenup put together by the couple’s lawyers. Also, if Douglas is found cheating, then his wife will reap an additional $5 million.
6. Mark Zuckerberg And Priscilla Chan
Unlike most celeb prenups, this couple have purportedly not based their prenup on money but lifestyle. This is even more surprising given that Zuckerberg’s net worth is around $117 billion.
Their provisions include that Chan gets 100 minutes of uninterrupted alone time and 1 date night per week with her husband. During their allotted quality time neither is allowed to use social media. Married since 2012, these lifestyle mandates are obviously working for them, and long may their marriage continue!
7. Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren
Elin Nordegren did financially well from her divorce from infamous golfer Woods. Before he cheated, their prenup stipulated that Nordegren would be awarded $20 million following divorce. However, once he cheated, Nordegren’s representatives were able to negotiate a whopping $110 million settlement. The prenup provision also stipulated that Woods is not allowed to have any girlfriends around their two children.
Apparently, in an attempt to reconcile the marriage Woods offered a new $200 million prenup to Nordegren, including a $350 million anti-cheating clause. However, the pair never reconciled and divorced in 2010.
8. Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian
One of the sweethearts of reality TV, Khloe Kardashian married Lamar Odom after just one month of dating. With reports of Odom’s drug use and philandering, Khloe was sensible to pursue a prenup before getting wed.
Married for 4 years, the contract saw the eldest Kardashian walking away with their marital home, $500,000 for each year they were married, court side seats for all Lakers games, a new car every year, $5,000 a month shopping allowance, $25,000 spousal support and $1,000 a month for beauty care.
9. Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo
One of the more shocking prenups seen was between musician and actress Jessica Simpson and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Although the couple never got married, according to reports, Romo wanted to include a clause forcing Simpson to pay him $500,000 for every pound she gained over 135 pounds. Rude!
10.Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
After a whirlwind engagement and sumptuous wedding, one child and very peculiar public declarations of love, it was a surprise to many when Cruise and Holmes announced their separation after 6 years of marriage.
Reportedly a prenup was in place, supposedly guaranteeing that Katie would get $3 million for every year of marriage capped at $33 million. However, if they stayed married for 11 years then she would have been entitled to half of Cruise’s earnings as per California law. Reportedly Holmes also walked away with $400,000 per year in child support too. Now, keep in mind, a prenup really should not deal with child support or custody.
11.Britney Spears And Kevin Federline
Married in 2004, after just 5 months of dating, Spears filed for divorce from Federline after just two years of marriage.
At the time of divorce in 2006, Spears was reported to have a net worth of around $65 million, so it’s surprising that Federline walked away with just $1 million. Some may argue that he married for love and wasn’t interested in wrangling money from her, as he could have been entitled to half her assets under law without a prenup.
The prenup Federline signed was (reportedly) over sixty pages long and exceptionally detailed. A large portion of the document was about the fake marriage ceremony the two had in September 2004, which had no legal standing until three weeks later when they were officially married. The reason for the show wedding? We hear it is because there was a delay in the finalization of their prenuptial agreement.
Hopefully BritBrit will get a prenup this time around!
12.Denise Richards And Charlie Sheen
Married 3 times, his union to Denise Richards wasn’t the only one of his marriages to have a prenup with a cheating clause. The infidelity provision between Richards and Sheen stated that Denise would receive $4 million if Charlie cheated on her. Richards filed for divorce in 2006, citing irreconcilable differences.
13.Liz Taylor And Larry Fortensky
A marriage between an exceptionally wealthy Hollywood star and a regular construction worker? Never was there a better example of a time to get a prenup, and this is exactly what Taylor insisted on when she married Larry Fortensky in 1991.
However, the provisions in the prenup were ill-advised and Taylor got financially burned. Their prenup stipulated that Fortensky would be entitled to $1 million after 5 years of marriage. The marriage lasted exactly 5 years!
14.Beyoncé And Jay Z
Beyonce and Jay Z are ‘lucky in love’ with both parties being super wealthy in their own rights. Thankfully this multimillion-dollar couple secured a prenup before marriage which will be enforced should they ever divorce. Reportedly, Jay Z has agreed to pay Bey $5 million for every child they have, and an additional $1 million for every year of marriage.
15.Ice T and Coco Austin
Another particularly peculiar prenup is that between Ice T and Coco Austin. When the rapper married glamor model Coco, he ensured a prenup was promptly put in place.
Married in 2002, they did briefly split after she was caught having an affair with another musician. However, they reconciled, and their marriage continues to flourish.
Although not too many details are known about their prenup, one peculiar provision is that, if they split then Ice T will keep possession of both Coco’s breast and buttock implants.
16.Chris Rock and Malaak Compton-Rock
Much like the union between Taylor and Fortensky, the infamous prenup between comedian Chris Rock and his ex-wife had a lot to do with an expiration date. Malaak Compton-Rock opted to file for divorce just after their 20-year prenup lapsed. This meant that Rock was exposed to a substantial deal of financial liability. At the time Rock was said to be worth around $70 million and ended up paying his ex-wife half of his fortune as per California’s law.
17.Rosanne Barr and Tom Arnold
Ok, so not a prenup story but a warning against not getting one! Comedienne Rosanne Barr was allegedly so horrified when her lawyers suggest she get a prenup before marrying fiancé Tom Arnold, that she fired them!
Unfortunately, their marriage only lasted 4 years and ended in a bitter, complicated, and expensive divorce to the tune of $50 million.
Rosanne was later famously quoted as saying that she and Tom Arnold, “didn’t sign a prenuptial agreement. We signed a mutual suicide pact.”
18.Steven and Amy Spielberg
As a world-famous writer and director, you’d think Steven Spielberg would make sure that any written agreements are signed, sealed, and delivered.
Unfortunately, this was not the case in the marriage between Spielberg and his wife Amy. He did sign a prenup, but they did it on the back of a cocktail napkin. She disputed this in court, saying that it was not a legal document, witnessed by lawyers, meaning it was not enforceable. And she was right. The former Mrs. Spielberg walked away from the divorce pocketing $100 million, which was half of his net worth at the time.
19.Mel Gibson and Robyn Denise Gibson
Reportedly, no one has ever lost more money in a divorce settlement than actor Mel Gibson. Married for 25 years, the couple decided to divorce in 2006 due to irreconcilable differences. As they didn’t have a prenup, California laws dictated that he hand over half of his $900 million. Robyn tottered away with a staggering $450 million, and despite a few long-term relationships, that financial sting has meant that Gibson has never remarried since.
20.Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
Apparently, the former Beatle decided that he didn’t need a prenup when marrying Heather Mills and refused to make one. The couple split in 2006, after 4 years of marriage.
Without a prenup to protect his colossal wealth, Heather took a lump sum of $33 million, plus $70,000 a year in child support. Reportedly she also received a variety of other unnamed assets totaling an additional $15 million.
With the news cycles constantly discussing celebrity divorce dramas, it seems as though celebs get divorced more than the average couple. And the sad reality is that the rich and famous do have a higher divorce rate than us mere mortals. It’s worth noting, that a lot of what’s included in these infamous agreements are from speculation and hearsay; but it’s always fun to look at how the other half live, right?
If you’re interested in finding out more about what can be included in a prenup, how a contract can protect your assets and what provisions could invalidate an agreement as well as some other popular and whacky clauses, like an infidelity clause, then more information can be found on our website.
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected].