Divorce Attorney for Entertainers in California
For anyone with a career in movies, music, television, or another part of the entertainment industry, any issues related to divorce are often sensitive and complex.
Put simply; there must be a level of discretion that respects your privacy and career. These legal-related issues will require special attention to obtain a discreet resolution that won't impact your career.
Any professional entertainer must retain family law legal counsel with experience dealing with their income and other assets that typically come from numerous sources.
Just like everyone else, entertainers don't get married with the thought that one day they will get a divorce. However, circumstances change, spouses change, and they grow apart and no longer have common interests.
The California divorce process is usually a personal and private matter for a professional entertainer. Confidentiality and privacy throughout the process are top priorities in a celebrity divorce.
You need a family law lawyer with good negotiating skills to obtain a favorable resolution while protecting your reputation.
Further, most celebrities will have a high net worth, making their divorce more complex because many assets will need to be divided.
In other words, a celebrity couple will face unique challenges not found in a traditional divorce because of their social status of being famous and recognized wherever they go in public. Some of the most common issues they will face in divorce include dealing with issues such as:
- high assets and high net worth,
- dividing property and assets,
- multiple real estate properties,
- marital property vs. separate property,
- prenuptial and postnuptial agreements,
- child support and spousal support.
Our California family law and divorce lawyers will examine this topic in greater detail below.
What Are High Net Worth Divorces?
In high-net-worth divorces, placing a value and dividing marital assets is essential to ensure that both spouses receive what they are entitled to.
We can help you determine how much your marital assets are worthwhile defending your legal rights in the crucial process of dividing assets, such as the following:
- Business and privately-owned properties,
- Partnerships and LLCs,
- Profit sharing plans and private equity,
- Restricted stock units (RSU),
- Deferred compensation,
- Life insurance policies,
- Pensions plan,
- Retirement accounts,
- Estate plans,
- Wills and trust,
- Offshore accounts,
We know these types of issues are crucial and often stressful. We are skilled litigators and will always work to resolve these issues on time.
Some entertainers own professional practice with their spouses or shareholders. Thus, obtaining an accurate valuation of these assets is crucial in determining an equitable division of marital property.
What About Child Custody and Support Issues for Entertainers?
Professional entertainers have unique circumstances related to child custody issues as they frequently travel outside California or the United States for extended periods for filming.
Thus, any child custody agreement has to include these special circumstances. This means you will need an experienced California family law lawyer who knows how to deal with these situations.
Further, child support issues must be settled during the divorce proceedings. California uses established state guidelines to determine child support levels, which are essentially a formula based on your specific circumstances, such as:
- Income of both parents,
- Basic necessary expenses,
- Cost of education,
- Healthcare and daycare costs.
For anyone with a career in the entertainment industry, accurately determining income is often more challenging than someone who receives all their income from one employer with one W-2.
Entertainers typically have more than one source of income, and their income levels will vary yearly.
They will also have contracts that lay out expenses and benefits.
This means entertainers getting divorced often need to deviate from the state guidelines to reflect their financial situation.
A young person who succeeds as an entertainer sometimes will sometimes seek independence from their parents, known as “emancipation.”
They must be at least 14 years old or older to petition for emancipation, complete form EM-100, and show the court they are financially self-supporting.
What About Spousal Support Issues?
Determining spousal support for professional entertainers can be challenging, especially when there is a vast disparity between each spouse's income and earning potential.
Suppose one spouse is currently earning a lot of temporary money because of some movie projects that will end in a few months. In that case, they often need help to determine alimony payments accurately.
Thus, spousal support issues for people in the entertainment industry who are getting a divorce often become a complex and hotly debated issue. Usually, the primary discussed problems are:
- What happens after the current movie project has been completed?
- What happens during those periods of no income?
- How do you characterize intellectual property and the generated income?
These issues and others mean entertainment professionals need to retain legal counsel who knows how to deal with these financial issues with a minimal impact on their career.
What About a Prenuptial Agreement to Protect Your Assets?
Professional entertainers live extraordinary lives that are often based on the success of their next movie project, but their careers are unpredictable.
There is a high risk of reward and complete failure. Most fail to reach their goals in the entertainment field as it's a challenging and competitive business.
However, many succeed and will need to protect their assets. Any entertainer who is planning on getting married should consider a prenuptial agreement, which offers several benefits, such as:
- Allows you to control how assets will be divided in a divorce,
- Lays out details on the division of property,
- Minimizes disputes by laying out the terms in case of a divorce.
For entertainment professionals, the various constant income levels can be addressed in a prenuptial agreement. If they are already married, then they can draft a postnuptial agreement.
However, a prenuptial agreement must be written and approved by the California family law court before it can be enforceable. Professional entertainers often move from state to state that may have different laws.
What About the Divorce Process?
Divorce is rarely easy, but if both spouses can reach a mutual agreement on the primary issues during the divorce process, it will often reduce stress.
Professional entertainers and other people who work within the entertainment industry must hire legal representation who knows how to deal with all the various sources of income streams and substantial assets while maintaining discretion to keep the information out of public view.
We can provide financial advice for high-income earners in the entertainment industry as the family law courts will attempt to assess the income and assets of both spouses.
We can seek advice from outside financial experts to help determine the best strategy for a favorable resolution on the primary issues in a divorce, such as:
- Child support,
- Spousal support (alimony),
- Property division,
- Ownership interests in businesses,
- Potential tax implications,
Further, an entertainer's circumstances often change after the family court has already created agreements as your income and schedule change. We can help you with the modification of family court orders when necessary. A default divorce occurs when the non-filing spouse (respondent) fails to file a written response to the divorce petition filed by the “petitioner,” who is the person filing for a divorce.
If you work within the entertainment industry and need a family law or divorce attorney, then contact us for help. Furman and Zavatsky are Los Angeles divorce and family law attorneys that provide legal representation across the state. You can contact us for a free case evaluation by phone or use the contact form.