Public figure or high-profile divorces have commonalities with traditional divorces, especially in regard to asset division and child custody, but aside from that, there is a lot that sets them apart from divorces that are of no interest to the public or the media.
For starters, public figures are more inclined to enter into prenuptial agreements and sometimes they have unusual provisions that when broken by a spouse, mean that some benefit, such as an annual bonus or spousal maintenance, will be withdrawn. Some may call these prenup demands “bizarre,” but for public figures, they aren’t uncommon.
While we don’t necessarily push prenups on clients, if they come to us and ask us to write one up, we’ll educate them on what prenups can and cannot do, and we’ll aim to negotiate an agreement that is both legally-sound and legally enforceable.
Plotting Divorces Before Filing
When we represent a high-profile client, we want to minimize the tabloid coverage as much as possible. If they have children, this is even more important because they need to be protected. Children do not need to hear of their parents’ split on TMZ. So, to shield a celebrity client, we’ll often hammer out the divorce details before filing the divorce papers.
The public may not even know this couple is getting divorced until we’ve wrapped up settlement negotiations, filed the papers with the court, and they’ve made their public announcement. Many couples we find, appreciate not having their divorce negotiations under a microscope.
Additionally, we take steps to make meetings with high-profile clients covert. To avoid the paparazzi or a curious public armed with smartphones, we’ll speak to clients on the phone, and we’ll arrange to meet them in private locations, etc.
Although what’s contained in the tabloids is considered “hearsay,” photos are a different story. In a contentious divorce, if one side is claiming that the other has a substance abuse problem for example, being photographed with drugs or alcohol can be damaging to a case, even if the pic was taken on someone’s smartphone at a bar or nightclub – these are the types of issues we make celebrity clients aware of.
Next: Divorce for Public Figures in New York
Contact Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC if you’re going through a public figure divorce. We have the skills and experience to represent you.