Prenuptial agreements in divorce are contracts entered into prior to marriage that commonly include provisions for asset division in the event of a breakup. Prenuptial agreements are recognized in all fifty states and must be completed in writing, and notarized. If you’re a celebrity, they can apparently also include hefty forfeiture clauses as a result of any incidence of adultery. Seems many of the rich and famous are opting to minimize their risk and maximize the cash payouts when their partners stray from their vows.
Infidelity clauses in prenuptial agreements that specify large cash payouts would seem to be a deterrent for some, but the seeming endless parade of infamous infidelities in the news recently would seem to prove otherwise. A prime example might be Charlie Sheen’s $40 million divorce settlement with Denise Richards followed by marriage to current spouse Brooke Mueller. Despite a 60-page prenuptial agreement with Brooke, things aren’t going so well at the Sheen household today with the couple living apart after Charlie’s domestic assault arrest when Brooke said Charlie held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her for asking for a divorce. Even so, it doesn’t appear there is any rush to divorce, as the couple has stated they are not seeking one at this time. Perhaps the fact that the prenup specifies that neither is entitled to the other’s earnings in the event of a divorce has made both a bit more forgiving.
It is estimated that Mueller’s total take would be $3.5 million if the couple divorced right now. The sum is less than the cost of just one incident of infidelity in Sheen’s prior marriage to Denise Richards, which reportedly contained a $4 million infidelity payout clause. In comparison, Britney Spears’ Hollywood prenup deal looked like a bargain since she only lost $1 million to Kevin Federline after two years of marriage. Actor Michael Douglas would stand to lose a bit more, as his prenup with Catherine Zeta-Jones specifies $5 million per indiscretion. Sometimes it’s not just the money that keeps celebrity marriages from falling apart, the Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom prenup reportedly specifies that Odom would still continue to provide the Kardashian family with Lakers tickets in the event of a breakup. Just how much Jesse James lost because he cheated on Sandra Bullock is unknown, but he might qualify for a spot on the Biggest Loser since their prenup specified James is entitled to exactly zero in the event of a divorce due to infidelity. Any way you slice it, infidelity in any marriage can be costly, and a prenuptial agreement can make it even more so.