We’re wrapping up one heck of a year. A reality TV show host was sworn in as President of the United States, some important British guy got engaged to a Yankee, and people finally noticed that Google’s cheeseburger placed the cheese under the patty.
And so many celebrities shacked up together, conceived offspring, and called it quits that it’s hard to keep everything straight. But let's give it a shot! Let’s review the wildest family law stories in Hollywood and what we learned from them.
In marriage, mo’ money always means mo’ problems
Serena Williams, Kate Upton, Michael Fassbender, Jim Parsons, and countless other celebrities said “I do” to their significant others this year. But none of their weddings were as intriguing as that of Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet.
The couple met in 2005, long after Bonet’s (whose legal name is Lilakoi Moon) Cosby fame had faded and years before Momoa’s infamous stint as that shirtless guy on Game of Thrones.
Like many celebrities before them, Momoa and Bonet swore off marriage for ages. They had two children together, Lola Iolani and Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha (way to show up Paltrow and her baby, Apple!), and secretly got married in October of 2017.
If, God forbid, Denise Huxtable and Khal Drogo get divorced, custody of their children will be determined no differently than if the children had been born after their marriage.
What makes this potential divorce so complicated is whether or not the couple signed a prenuptial agreement. Their wedding took place less than one month before the release of Justice League, the largest paycheck Momoa has ever received by a long shot.
Without a prenup, Momoa has put the ownership of that money in question. Just look at what happened to fellow superhero Jeremy Renner.
We never thought we’d see the day when Aquaman was wealthier than a Huxtable, but here we are.
Babies: little bundles of misery
Three out of the six Kardashian progeny announced pregnancies this year, but we’ll abstain from diving into that mess until next year. 2017’s most interesting youngster unquestionably goes to Janet Jackson’s baby, Eissa.
There are two big legal questions surrounding Eissa’s birth. First, will Jackson share custody with her billionaire ex? Rumors are swirling that she is pushing for sole custody, but unless there’s something we don’t know, that’s hard to justify.
Second, and definitely...probably less important than who will parent the child, is how Eissa’s birth will affect Jackson’s net worth. As we explained in detail earlier this year, most of the prenuptial agreements used by celebrities include a “dirty diaper” clause, which drastically increases an actress’s spousal support if she bears her husband a child.
Move over Hillary Swank, it’s time to make room for a billion-dollar baby.
Divorce sure sucks for Millionaire actors with kids
It was a rough year for anyone who believed Hollywood marriages could work. First, Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor separated after 17 years of marriage, then Chris Pratt and Anna Faris ended their nine-year marriage.
But the divorce that hogged the headlines (and taught us the most about family law) came when news broke that Brangelina would no longer describe two people, but a time when most of us believed two stupidly attractive, famous, and wealthy people might actually stay together.
From child custody to asset division, this divorce ticked every box in the “Things You Don’t Want to Fight Over” column.
Given Jolie’s fondness for fostering children from every corner of the globe, hammering out six separate custody agreements is still a work in progress.
And beyond the assets they plop into carseats, Brad and Angelina have each built sprawling empires around their fame. Brad is worth an estimated $250 million and the sole owner of the massively successful Plan B entertainment, while Angelina is worth an estimated $165 million. Between the two of them, there are 12 properties from around the world that need to be split.
As we close out 2017, magazines are reporting that Jolie rejected an offer from Pitt to expedite their case in exchange for $100 million. That’s music to a family lawyer’s ears, but it’s also an incredibly bad sign for Brad. If a big ‘ol pile of money can’t fix this mess, it’s not going to be over anytime soon.
Give the gift of legal certainty (re: marital uncertainty)
Divisions of assets, custody battles, and drawn-out divorce cases can all be avoided with either a pre- or post-nuptial agreement. This Christmas, give your significant other the most romantic gift of all: a contract that includes provisions for division of property, spousal support, and conditions of guardianship in the event of divorce or legal separation.
We’ll even wrap it up and slap a bow on it. Just give us a call today.