Philadelphia, PA- Actor Johnny Depp’s divorce from Amber Heard is taking an even uglier turn as accusations of abuse and deception keep coming from both camps. No matter who you believe, the A-lister’s divorce can serve as a teaching moment. Both sides are making mistakes or made mistakes that will affect how their divorce works out. Our team of divorce lawyers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania wanted to discuss a few of those mistakes so that that you can avoid them in your own divorce.
Depp’s first mistake was to marry Heard, a lesser knowns actress 20 years her junior, without signing a prenuptial agreement. That is a mistake that many wealthy men and women make because it’s not very romantic and they believe they are never going to get a divorce. Maybe they won’t, but maybe they will, but if you’re worth as much as Johnny Depp– $350 million according to Celebrity Net Worth— prenuptial is the wise thing to do.Prenuptials are the way to go for wealthy individuals, couples with children and couples with numerous assets.
Depp could have protected his assets and most of his wealth by having a prenuptial agreement drafted before marrying Heard. Such agreements are legally binding and dictate how assets will be divided, how spousal and child support will be awarded and outline child custody arrangements. A prenuptial just makes it easier for a couple to untangle their lives if they can’t make their marriage work.
Many people have come to the defense of Depp, accusing Heard of lying about the physical and verbal abuse to get a better divorce settlement. One of Depp’s good friends, comedian Doug Stanhope, penned an article in which he defended Depp. Of course, as a comedian, Stanhope had harsh words for Heard, who he accused of being manipulative and describing the abuse allegations as “blackmail.”
Stanhope was trying to protect his friend, but his outspokenness now puts him in the middle of a civil suit. As a response to Stanhope’s scathing essay, Heard and her legal team filed a defamation suit against him. She accused him of slander and vowed to pursue Stanhope for “the maximum possible jury award,” the New York Daily News reports.
The truth is always somewhere in between each side’s story, which is why it some couples need to have a third party step in and help them resolve these issues.Prenuptials are the way to go for wealthy individuals, couples with children and couples with numerous assets.
Fortunately for Depp, there are a couple of things working in his favor and the same rules apply in Philadelphia. One, when trying to determine how much spousal support is to be awarded, courts look at the length of a couple’s marriage. Now, if Depp and Heard had been married for several years or a decade or more, she would probably be awarded a relatively generous amount of spousal support. But after only a year of marriage, a judge is unlikely to give her half of his assets, though the abuse allegations will carry some weight in the court’s decision and could result in a better divorce settlement.
Depp has an excellent lawyer working on his divorce, so he may walk away without having to give up too much of his wealth. Anyone who has a lot of assets or is headed for a contentious divorce needs expert legal representation to keep them from making any mistakes that could hurt their case.
Sometimes, in the heat of a highly-charged moment, people either fabricate or exaggerate. Emotionally it’s somewhat understandable, but legally it can be damaging. Such statements from either estranged spouse or well-intentioned friend can be damaging to a person’s case. That is why USAttorneys recommends you speak with a divorce lawyer, so you can avoid some of the common mistakes divorcing couples make.