The Cost of Divorce: ‘Regular Folks’ Versus ‘Celebrities’

Stacks of cash
Celebrity settlements are usually huge! Much bigger than anything ‘regular’ folks have to deal with.

Divorce isn’t cheap, everybody knows that. Between attorney’s fees, split assets, spousal support payments, child support and the often unavoidable guilt-spending that so many people fall prey to, it can get pretty expensive. But as the old joke says, the reason divorce costs so much is because it’s worth it! However, when it comes to the price, there’s ‘costly’ and then there’s ‘COSTLY.’

The cost of a divorce in Michigan can range widely, depending on whether you do it yourself (DIY divorces) and whether you hire an attorney. Other factors that influence the cost of your divorce are things like how contested your divorce is, how long and protracted the process gets, and how much you involve your attorney in the minutiae. But if you thought your divorce cost too much, take a look at these numbers. Starting at a lowly $100 million, we have:

Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving

When director Spielberg and actress Irving divorced in 1989, just four years into their marriage, the settlement they agreed on was considered enormous and more than twenty years later it is still one of the largest divorce settlements in history, at $100 million.

Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphy

Married in 1969, they stayed together until 1994 when “irreconcilable variations” split them apart. Marcia’s settlement was listed as being $150 million. To his credit, Diamond did not begrudge her a penny of it and was heard saying that she deserved the money. He’s always been a class act.

Michael and Juanita Jordan

When Michael Jordan divorced his wife of 17 years, Juanita, the settlement agreement that their attorneys wrote granted her $168 million, which is no trifling sum. To date, it is still considered to be one of the most expensive divorces.

Mel and Robyn Gibson

When Mel Gibson and his wife Robyn parted ways, they had no prenuptial agreement in place to protect his wealth. As a result, Robyn took $250 million, which was half of Gibson’s substantial fortune at the time.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver

After Schwarzenegger’s marital indiscretions became public knowledge, his wife Maria divorced him although the couple did try hard to salvage their marriage before finally calling it quits. The settlement was apparently amicable and Shriver walked away with a cool $300 million.

Craig and Wendy McCraw

When cell phone mogul Craig McCraw divorced his wife, Wendy, after more than 20 years of marriage, the settlement she received made their divorce one of the costliest in history. In total, she walked with $460 million.

Rupert and Anna Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch, founder, chairman and CEO of the world’s second-largest media conglomerate, News Corporation, divorced his wife Anna in what was considered to be an amicable split. Their divorce made headlines as history’s most costly parting of ways, with Anna’s settlement totaling 1.7 billion dollars.
As experienced divorce attorneys in Michigan, we understand that the cost of divorce often makes people reluctant to hire an attorney to represent them during their divorce. But while the cost of legal representation may seem steep, it is a well-known fact that the potential losses you could suffer as a result of not having proper legal representation can be far worse! So if you are considering a divorce, contact us today and talk to one of our experienced family law attorneys. We can help you during this difficult time.