This blog recently discussed the impending high-asset divorce between Johnny Depp and his wife, Amber Heard. It has been reported that the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement before they married. This has created some questions concerning whether they had a prenuptial agreement and what Heard may be entitled to receive in the divorce between the couple under California law.
The couple is divorcing in California, where Heard filed for a divorce and requested spousal support from Depp. Depp has asked the court to deny Heard's request for spousal support.
Because the marriage between Depp and Heard lasted 15 months, Heard may not receive a significant amount of spousal support or assets under California law. Nonetheless, this issue can cause the divorce process to take longer, which can lead to increased expenses and further disputes.
Divorce is also a public process, which the parties may wish to avoid. Though, Heard may not commonly be entitled to much in a divorce settlement, following a short marriage, Depp is not protected by a prenuptial agreement.
Without a prenuptial agreement, states laws govern certain divorce-related issues, such as property division. The income earned by the couple during the marriage would be divided between the couple because it is considered community property in California.
In California, the length of the marriage is considered when determining an award of spousal support. There are several factors the court evaluates when considering a request for spousal support, and additional factors include the standard of living during the marriage and the paying spouse's ability to pay. As is true regarding most divorce-related concerns, the couple is able to work together to reach an agreement, rather than engage in long and costly disputes.
Sometimes, though, divorcing couples cannot agree through divorce negotiations. But, the family law and divorce process is designed to help them reach resolutions together or through the court process. Understanding how that process works can be helpful for any couple during a divorce.
Source: People, "What Happens Without a Prenup? Divorce Lawyers Weigh In on Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's 15-Month Marriage," Char Adams, May 26, 2016