Is Britney Spears' Divorce Toxic?
You might have seen it trending on social media this week: Britney Spears' husband Sam Asghari filed for divorce. Citing irreconcilable differences, Asghari filed his petition to divorce the grammy-winning pop star in a Los Angeles County Court after 14 months of marriage. Spears was spotted driving hours later without her wedding ring in the first pics of the star since her split became public.
According to TMZ, the couple has a prenuptial agreement (also called a premarital agreement or prenup) protecting Spears' assets, so it seems like their divorce should be pretty cut and dry. However, Page Six has reported Asghari is threatening to go public with embarrassing information about Spears unless they renegotiate the prenup.
How Does a Prenuptial Agreement Work?
A prenup is a contract that protects the property rights of a couple and becomes effective upon their marriage. In California, where Spears and her future ex-husband reside, a prenup isn't valid unless it's signed in writing by both parties. Also, the spouse receiving the agreement must have all of the following:
- Complete financial information about the other party prior to signing
- Seven days to read and review the terms of the prenup
- Attorney representation that is from the other party (unless they have received detailed information about the terms of the prenup and signed an affidavit confirming receipt)
Spears was married twice prior to tying the knot with Asghari. Her marriage in 2004 to childhood friend Jason Alexander was annulled within days of their Las Vegas wedding. That same year, she married Kevin Federline, but they later divorced in 2007.
Multiple news outlets reported that Spears' prenup with Federline awarded him $250 thousand dollars for each year of their marriage, but Spears increased that amount to speed up their divorce. Spears was later ordered to pay Federline thousands of dollars each month in child support for the former couple's two sons, Sean and Jayden.
What Will Asghari Get?
Since meeting Spears on the set of her “Slumber Party" music video, Asghari has appeared to live a lavish lifestyle including multiple vacations in Hawaii and the purchase of vintage cars. But according to sources, Spears and Asghari signed an ironclad prenuptial agreement before their celeb-filled wedding in Thousand Oaks, California. Guests included Hollywood royalty like Madonna, Paris Hilton, Drew Barrymore, and Selena Gomez. Noticeably absent from the ceremony was Spears' immediate family, including her sister, Jamie Lynn Spears.
The prenup supposedly protects the $60 million-dollar empire Spears built before marrying Ashgari. The terms state Asghari will get $1 million dollars for every two years the couple is married and is capped at $15 million once they reach 15 years. Additionally, he has no rights to Spears' music catalog and is not included on the deed to their home. The divorce filing revealed that Asghari plans on seeking spousal support and attorney's fees.
Spousal Support Factors in the Divorce
A prenuptial agreement can set the amount of spousal support or preclude an ex from receiving spousal support. Although the details of the prenuptial agreement are not clear at this time, the fact that Ashgari is seeking spousal support in his divorce filing has led to speculation that he is planning to contest the prenup.
If the prenup is overturned, the amount of spousal support Asghari can receive will be based on his financial need or an amount he can agree upon with Spears. Also, a court can look at other factors to determine the amount of spousal support Spears will pay Asghari. Thse include:
- Their age and physical condition
- The length of their marriage
- Their earning capacity
- The amount of time Asghari needs in order to become self-supporting
- The standard of living during their marriage
- Spears' and Asghari's individual contributions to the marriage
Overturning the Prenuptial Agreement
If Asghari wants more than he's entitled to pursuant to their prenuptial agreement, he needs to overturn or void the prenup. To do this, he has to establish one of the following:
- He signed the agreement under false pretenses
- Spears failed to fully and accurately disclose her financial information
So, will Asghari fight the prenup? Especially since it was reported that his divorce filing came after a nuclear argument with Spears that included cheating allegations. Luckily for Spears, Asghari has come forward to state that he will not be challenging the prenup and that he will not be revealing personal or embarrassing information about his soon-to-be ex-wife.
What About Spears' Conservatorship?
The conservatorship that controlled Spears' life for thirteen years came to an end six months before she married Asghari. Under the conservatorship, Spears would not have been able to legally marry Asghari unless she obtained permission from her conservator/father, Jamie Spears. Asghari reportedly played a large role in encouraging Spears to end the conservatorship.
Now that she's getting divorced, is it possible that Spears will end up back under a conservatorship? Typically, you have to prove someone can no longer manage their own affairs because of illness, age, mental defect, or some other incapacity for a conservator to be appointed.
Spears is still considered an American icon by many despite her failed marriages. While she navigates her current divorce, let's try to remember "she's so lucky she's a star, but she cry cry cries in her lonely heart."
- Is Crashing Your Ex's Wedding Illegal? (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- #FreeBritney Part Two (FindLaw's Don't Judge Me)
- Lessons From Madonna, Jamie Foxx, and Pete Davidson: No One Expects a Medical Emergency (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
Was this helpful?
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.