Pop icon Katy Perry recently finalized her divorce to comedian Russell Brand in what appears to be one of the most amicable celebrity divorces ever. Family law attorneys across the country were clutching their pearls upon learning that the pop star did not sign a prenuptial agreement before marrying the comedian despite already having a much higher net worth.
The law treats a marriage like a business contract in many ways. A prenuptial agreement, also known as a premarital contract, is a formal agreement between soon-to-be spouses about what happens to their money and assets in the event of a divorce. Although some people believe that a premarital agreement takes the passion out of their engagement, a premarital agreement can actually help strengthen a marriage by forcing a couple to have the very important conversation about finances and material priorities.
In Katy Perry’s case, the “Last Friday Night” singer said that she was comfortable that her soon-to-be husband would not take financial advantage of her in the event of a divorce. It appears that Katy’s trust was well placed because Russell Brand said that he does not intend to accept any of the $20 million that he would be entitled to as the result of this divorce.
Katy Perry made around $40 during the 14-month marriage and Russell’s cut equals about half of this amount.
While this gesture seems noble, it should be noted that getting married without a premarital agreement is generally a horrible idea. No one goes into a marriage planning on getting divorced, and hopefully no one marries someone who they suspect will take financial advantage of them in the divorce process. A premarital agreement is essentially to managing expectations and ensuring that there is not a lengthy property dispute at the end of the marriage.
Source: TMZ, “Katy & Russell No Prenup, No Regrets,” Feb. 11, 2012