Miley & Liam - Financial Agreement
One year on from their wedding and Miley and Liam’s divorce is already considered old news, with the dust having settled following their separation in 2019. Despite their relationship lasting 10 years (not counting those hiccup “off” periods), the internet remained fairly silent about any division of their assets.
With their legal separation so widely reported upon, and their combined net worth being estimated at about $186 million dollars (Liam’s being about $26 million and Miley’s about $160 million), you would be forgiven for wondering why the juicy details about the separation of their assets has remained largely out of the tabloids. Not only are they both worth a significant amount, their assets could be spread across numerous countries. They also shared 9 dogs, 3 cats and a pig!
With this set of circumstances, there was certainly the potential for lengthy Family Court proceedings. There was also high risk that any settlement terms or personal allegations against each other could become public.
Fortunately, Miley and Liam entered into their marriage with the acknowledgment that, despite their best intentions, some marriages simply don’t work out as planned. With this in mind, Miley and Liam instructed their respective lawyers to prepare a Prenuptial Agreement prior to their marriage. In Australia, we call these Financial Agreements. They can actually be entered into at various stages of a relationship or marriage, even after the ending of a relationship or marriage.
Miley and Liam’s Binding Agreement would have detailed how their property and/or financial resources were to be dealt with if their marriage broke down. The terms of the Agreement may have specified that Miley and Liam each retain whatever assets or financial resources that they owned before the marriage. The Agreement may also have contained detailed provisions for any transfer of property or the ongoing maintenance of either one of them. The terms of any Financial Agreement are flexible and can be tailored to the individual needs of those entering into the Agreement. For example, in this case, it would not be unusual to find some sort of notation about the pets they were keeping, and who would own them upon separation.
Financial Agreements are complicated documents that can provide for a wide range of circumstances. Because of this complexity, and the inherent uncertainty associated with the potential for material changes in circumstances between the time of drafting the Agreement and separation, Financial Agreements require the expertise of a lawyer specialising in the area.
Luckily for Miley and Liam, we will never know the terms of their financial separation or the provisions made by their Prenuptial Agreement. One of the main advantages of a Financial Agreement is that the Agreement is entirely binding and remains private, without the Court’s involvement or scrutiny. Financial Agreements provide certainty regarding how assets and financial resources are to be divided upon separation. In doing so, the variables and uncertainties associated with litigation such as legal costs, delay, stress, lack of control over the outcome and the Court’s exercise of its broad discretion are eliminated. Financial Agreements can provide peace of mind and security by getting clear before entering into marriage or relationships.
In Australia, a Financial Agreement can be entered into prior to, during, or following a relationship or marriage. Even though with Miley and Liam the writing was on the wall earlier than with most marriages, all relationships and marriages have the potential to breakdown as a result of irreconcilable differences. If you would like to speak to one of our lawyers regarding the suitability of a Financial Agreement for your relationship or marriage, please contact us.
I was wondering why the media had fallen unseasonably silent on this issue so quickly. Great article Sarah!