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Financial Agreements because 'Sometimes it Lasts in Love but Sometimes it Hurts Instead'.

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Adele has been trending lately, for two reasons.  The first being her extreme weight loss, which is not the topic of this blog, and the second being her divorce and property settlement.

While the majority of the details about Adele’s divorce and property settlement case have been suppressed by the Courts, Rumour Has It that Adele has been ordered to pay her former husband $140 million of her reported $190 million dollar net worth.  While this has not been officially confirmed, and may never be, given the Suppression Order that is in place related to settlement details, Adele’s fans are in uproar that the superstar may have to pay such a large portion of the money she has earned over the years.

The online responses to the reported payment are intriguing – with some questioning how on earth this could be considered fair and others applauding the Turning Tables, with a female being ordered to pay the majority of her wealth to a man, as society often views that it is typically men who find themselves in that position following a separation.

Painting Pictures of Adele and her former husband’s circumstances – they were married for only 2 years before separating in April 2019, but were together for 8 years and share a 7 year old son.

Presumably thinking He Won’t Go and that, even if he did, she trusted he would not try to Take It All, Adele reportedly did not enter into a Prenuptial Agreement with her former husband.  In California, where Adele lives, Prenuptial Agreements are entered into prior to marriage, to dictate how a couple’s assets and liabilities will be dealt with if they separate.  In Australia, we call them Financial Agreements, and they can be entered into before a marriage, during a marriage or even after divorce.

In California, the law is that spouses are entitled to half of their partner’s income and assets during the period they were married.  The kicker for Adele is that the majority of her success and wealth amassed during her relationship.  During that time, her net worth is said to have increased from about $65 million to $190 million.

Australian law is different.  It involves consideration of the parties’ assets, liabilities and superannuation, each of their contributions and future needs, as well as an overall assessment of what is fair.  There is a way to ensure that you are protected, while also providing that you each move forward in a financially stable position.

One benefit of Financial Agreements is that they can be flexible to your circumstances.  For example, Adele could have provided that, if she and her husband were married for 5 years, he receive a set figure, or a percentage of the earnings they made over the course of their relationship, rather than have the Californian law automatically apply.

Another benefit, which I’m sure Adele would have appreciated, is that a Financial Agreement is a private document, which means that the public would be unaware of what she pays her former husband.  While there was a Suppression Order in place about the overall settlement, the Californian law is public knowledge, as is Adele’s net worth.

While we can all get caught up in the happiness of a relationship, it is important to ensure that you take steps to protect your own interests because in Adele’s words – Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.  Losing much of your hard-earned wealth or assets certainly does not heal that hurt.

The skilled Team at Butlers has extensive experience in drafting and reviewing Financial Agreements.  Please contact us if you are considering entering into one to protect yourself, and provide peace of mind for both you and your partner.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll Be Waiting for Adele’s next album!

 

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Wednesday, 15 July 2020