Whenever a celebrity or high-profile figure gets a divorce, it seems to take a long time for everything to be finalized. Sometimes, the divorce is even decided in court. The newspapers go mad, and, let’s be honest, we all probably get a little addicted to seeing all the salacious details that come out.

But why are high-profile marriage settlements so significant, and why do they take so much more time and energy? What makes them different from the divorces ordinary people get every day?

In this article, we’re going to break down the marital settlement agreement. We will discuss what a marital settlement is, what needs to be decided during one, and why a celebrity marital settlement seems to take so much longer than an ordinary person’s divorce. Learn more about it below.

What is a Marital Settlement Agreement?

A marital settlement agreement is a written contract that details the responsibilities and rights set out for divorcing spouses post-divorce. Marital settlement agreements may also be referred to as divorce settlements, marital termination agreements, separation agreements, and stipulations of settlement. Both parties are legally bound by whatever is set out in the agreement.

What Needs to be Decided in a Marital Settlement?

Marital settlements involve a wide variety of responsibilities and divisions. They can vary depending on the length of the marriage, whether or not the couple has children, what property the divorcees own, and much more.

An agreement can include stipulations regarding any of the following.

  • Child custody: For couples who have children, stipulations will be set out in the divorce settlement that relate to where the children will reside. Often, parents will get 50/50 custody of children, meaning they spend equal time with both parents. However, this is not always the case. This stipulation may also include decision-making responsibilities and other matters that relate to the upbringing of the children produced by the marriage.
  • Child visitation: In cases where one parent gets most or all of the custody, visitation stipulations may be set out in the agreement. 
  • Child support: Children cost money, and so the financial support of children produced in the marriage will be set out in the marital settlement. Details can include the frequency of child support payments, how much will need to be paid, and how expenses the children incur will be split between the divorcing couple.
  • Spousal support: Also referred to as alimony, spousal support is money paid to one spouse to support the other. Spousal support is often paid when one spouse is financially weaker than the other. This may mean that they took on the role of homemaker during the marriage, or they only worked part-time to juggle childcare duties, too. Both economic and non-economic contributions to the marriage are factored into the decision for how much spousal support is given, among other factors. 
  • Division of property: As it suggests, this refers to the division of property bought during the marriage. It can include real estate as well as personal belongings. It is essential to bear in mind that the division of property laws can vary per state.
  • Division of assets: This refers to the division of bank accounts and other intangible assets, like investments, retirement accounts, savings, and more. 

For most people, divorce will include the division of a marital home, a few bank accounts, and possibly the custody of children. For celebrities, this division may take more time. High-profile and prominent figures tend to have more money and, therefore, more assets, property, and things to divide! Read on to find out more about why high-profile marital settlements can take more time.

Why Do High-Profile Marital Settlements Take More Time?

There are a few reasons why it can seem like celebrities’ divorces are much more drawn out. These include the following.

  • Complex finances: With multiple sources of revenue, including royalties, investments, and business ventures, as well as multiple properties, celebrities are likely to have a much more complex web of finances that needs to be divided between the divorcing parties.
  • Assets of a higher value: Regular people don’t tend to have assets that are valued in the millions, and therefore, division of them is unlikely to lead to quite as much dispute. Disputes may include how these assets should be divided as well as their actual worth.
  • Public scrutiny and privacy concerns: As we all know, a celebrity divorce can lead to salacious details about the marriage coming out. As such, public scrutiny and the handling of sensitive information can lead to complicated negotiations and the sealing of court records.
  • Multiple legal teams: With so many different assets, properties, and businesses, often high-profile divorces will have multiple legal teams on each side. All legal teams need time to coordinate and work together to ensure they reach the agreement that their clients want.
  • Higher stakes: Generally, high-profile settlements have higher stakes. More money, more scrutiny, and more damage to reputation mean mediation may become heated, and settlements take longer to be agreed upon.
  • Prenuptial agreements: Many people in high-profile positions will have a prenup, but if the validity of a prenup is questioned or the terms of prenups have been broken, then negotiations may take longer.

Final Thoughts

Marital settlements often take time to be reached, but it is common for more high-profile agreements to take even longer. This is because there is usually more money involved and, therefore, higher stakes. Additionally, the end of a marriage can be an emotional time, meaning people may need some time to come to terms with the end before they can begin dividing up their lives.