Lessons from celebrity divorces

Pennsylvania residents who are facing the end of a marriage might wonder if there is anything that can be learned from the many celebrity divorces that get featured in the media. While most such information tends to be gossip, there are some things that people can learn from a celebrity split.

One thing spouses need to be clear about is marital property. It has been said that Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy reportedly stayed living in the same apartment during an uncomfortable divorce to avoid giving up rights to the marital home. However, if the property was acquired after the marriage and with marital assets, it becomes marital property and both spouses have claims to it no matter who is living there at the time of the divorce. Celebrity divorces also often feature the issue of intellectual property. These include patents, copyrights, trademarks, royalties and other rights. While each state has its own rules regarding this, generally, if the property was created during the marriage, then it must be part of the marital assets that get divided.

Celebrity divorces can also sometimes address the importance of the date of separation. In 2015, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck announced their split one day after their 10th wedding anniversary. While in their case, it was probably due to a prenup provision, waiting until 10 years or later to separate means that the spouse who earned less will have the right to claim Social Security benefits based on the higher earning spouse’s record. Additionally, it can also mean longer and higher spousal support in some states.

While it is not a good idea to take advice from just anybody when it comes to divorce, there are lessons to be learned from some publicized ones. However, the best guidance is likely to come from a family law attorney.

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