Archive for the ‘ celebrity divorce ’ Category

Cruise Control

Protect your assets like a celebrity!

While Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini was recently successful in shielding his financial divorce documents from prying eyes, the same can’t be said for the financial terms surrounding the quickie divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

According to oneUSmedia source, Katie walked away with no spousal support from Tom, or any share in Tom’s assets, certainly noteworthy considering he’s worth approximately 250 million US dollars.

All of which is not so surprising since the pair apparently inked an ironclad pre-nup, which no doubt specified no support or asset division in the event of divorce.

But before anyone sheds any tears for Katie, she will repeatedly be receiving child support payments of approximately $33,300.00 per month for their daughter Suri, until she turns 18 years of age.

Here in BC, the amount of child support is calculated by using the income of the paying spouse, and the Federal Child Support Guidelines.  I have no way of knowing how they calculated this amount for Tom.  (However, for those curious souls like me, if Tom was here working in BC and paying child support of $33,300.00 for 1 child, he would need to have an income of approximately $4,500,000.00).

However, just like here in BC, Tom is also responsible for additional expenses, such as Suri’s tuition, ($40,000.00 per year), medical expenses, etc.  In BC, Tom and Katie would share such expenses in proportion to their respective incomes, (and adjust annually), or they could simply agree to share them 50/50.

According to the sameUSsource, one of the divorce terms also specifies that Suri not attend any sort of “ residential school,” which has been interpreted by some as meaning a residential school associated with theschoolofScientology.  Not sure if that’s the correct interpretation, although I am fairly certain the exact nature of the “residential school” to be avoided, is clarified in the divorce settlement, otherwise Suri would have a difficult time eventually attending any long distance educational institutions, (such as college or university), and residing in residence.

For those of us non-celebrities contemplating a pre-nup, (also called a Marriage Agreement), it can be an extremely advantageous document to have in your pocket, (or purse), saving you legal costs, stress, and delay, in the event of a separation or divorce.

So take my advice, make like a celebrity, and get one!  Did I mention, I’m a family lawyer who prepares pre-nups and Marriage Agreements……?

P.S.  The family law regarding division of property, (and other matters), on separation are changing in March of 2013.  It’s a good time to review your options!

Do it like Charlie!


Tips to help you achieve your own child custody agreement!

Hearing the word “custody” and Charlie Sheen in the same sentence these days is not all that surprising. But what I did find surprising last week was hearing that Charlie and his ex, Brooke, have apparently arrived at a child custody agreement with respect to their twin infant children.

While details of the deal will apparently not be made public, you can at least rest assured, if Charlie can do it, so can you and your ex.

So here are three tips to help you and your ex negotiate your own child custody agreement just like Charlie.

Firstly, be sure to get some good legal advice.

No, this does not mean advice from any of your (unhappily) divorced friends or colleagues, your dentist, doctor, or anyone else who has not actually attended, and graduated, from an accredited legal institution. Better yet, find someone who has acquired years of actual family law experience in your particular province or state.

Why is this important? Well you’re dealing with, hopefully, the most valuable asset from your relationship, ie your children. Legal terms carry with them significant consequences, both positive and negative. Wrong, omitted or misleading terms can eventually have both of you heading off to court. Good legal advice will help you to avoid this unhappy predicament.

Secondly, give up the blame game.

You and your ex will both need to put aside those negative feelings about each other. This process is all about focusing on the children’s best interests. It’s not about your spouse hogging the remote, their excessive gambling/drinking/drug/sexual/ predelictions, or any other vice which is not directly related to parenting the children.

Keep in mind; it’s also highly likely that for every finger pointing blame in one direction, there will be one pointing right back.

Lastly, be sure to just zip it.

Keep your family child custody agreement private. No calling CNN, Piers Morgan, the National Enquirer, or anyone else. Your children deserve their privacy, whether you and your spouse crave it or not.

So far, congrats to Charlie and Brooke on this last tip.

After all, your children don’t need or want their parents to be either Tigers or Goddesses. Just staying mom and dad would be best of all.



I thought I heard somewhere that Elin has apparently told Tiger that he can see his kids, but not in the presence of any of his girlfriends.  Sound familiar?

Say, for example, you’ve met someone “special” following your own separation. Your spouse agrees to let you see the kids, but under one condition. Under no circumstances, are you to have that special someone meet the kids. And if you don’t comply, no access for you!

So, just what are your legal rights?

Right off the bat, (or club), you and your spouse can simply agree that access will not happen if the other “special” person is around.  You could even agree (although I would certainly not recommend it without good reason – see below), to have such term reflected, in a court Order, or Separation Agreement.  It then becomes a legally binding obligation.

Remember, if such a term is agreed, either in a court Order, or Agreement, it can only be changed in the future, with either your spouse’s consent, or court Order, (which requires amending the Agreement, or court Order, with all of the related hassle, and cost).

And what happens if you don’t agree to such a ban?

In my lengthy family law experience a court will not typically impose a ban on a parent introducing the children to a new partner.  But there are exceptions.  Certainly, if this person has a past history of abusing children, or a criminal history, which could potentially expose a child to some kind of   risk, a court will use its discretion in favor of the best interests of the children. 

However, there is another simple inexpensive option which has, the potential at least, of preventing such battles in the first place.  What is it?  Invite your former spouse to meet your new partner, in a casual, relaxed (but no alcohol), non-confrontational setting. For example, something like a neighborly barbecue would be ideal.

Hopefully, your former spouse will discover, to their surprise that your partner isn’t that evil after all. Better yet, they will both have something else in common to roast, you!