Millions of dollars for a 14-month marriage?

How does someone who makes $8 million a year wind up even richer after a divorce? When his former spouse makes $45 million, and there is no prenuptial agreement.

This could be the sad but true story of celebrity couple Russell Brand and Katy Perry, who are now spitting up after a mere 14-month marriage.

Brand, an actor and comedian, is the relatively “poorer” of the two. Forbes magazine estimates that in the last year, Brand made $6 to $8 million from his films, performances and books. In contrast, Katy Perry, a superstar singer, is believed to have made about $45 million during the course of the marriage.

“The vast majority of her money is coming from touring,” said Dorothy Pomerantz of Forbes magazine. “She’s also really smart, she makes a ton of money from her endorsements and she’s even launched a perfume line (called Purr) and that’s all a great source of money too, but most of her money comes from being on tour.”

According to California law, money earned during a marriage is considered community property, meaning that it is split equally if a couple gets divorced.

Accordingly, since Perry’s work income during the marriage was so much higher than Brand’s, Brand is the one who will benefit the most — assuming, that is, that they have no prenuptial agreement and that they really were married in California.

(Their marriage ceremony was actually held in India. However, since they lived in California, both legal experts and celebrity watchers alike believe that the couple probably had a California marriage license.)

Perry certainly wouldn’t be the first celebrity in recent memory to pay a big sum in a divorce. Mel Gibson’s former wife Robyn received $425 million after their 29-year marriage broke up. Elin Nordegren, the former wife of Tiger Woods, is said to have received about $100 million in her divorce settlement. None of them can hold a candle, though, to Anna Murdoch, who received $1.7 billion when she split from husband Rupert in 1999.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about divorce or property division here in Texas, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


MSNBC, “Who walks away richer from Perry-Brand split?” Jan. 4, 2012