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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Kelly’

Divorce in Hollywood: Why Celebrity Marriages Don’t Last

Posted by Levine Communications Office on February 10, 2012

ashton-demi break up

Pictured from left-to-right Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore

Seal and Heidi Klum, Russell Brand and Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore… and the list goes on and on.

Let’s not forget the 72-day farce of a marriage that was Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.

Celebrity marriages keep falling apart… they just don’t work! Why don’t Hollywood marriages last?

“Unfortunately in this town (Hollywood) divorces are a dime a dozen and there are several reasons why,” says Michael Kelly, a divorce attorney in Beverly Hills, California.

“In my experience, having represented many high-stakes celebrity divorces frequent failure to agree on who takes care of the children instead of their career, infidelity and insecurities, divergent career paths, PR-scandals, and unequal income and unequal projects are some of the most common factors of why many celebrity marriages don’t last.”
You’d think that celebrities would be smart enough to be prepared when entering such a commitment. If you ever wonder why these celebrity divorces get so complicated, surprisingly many celebrities don’t sign prenuptial agreements.

“Many make large amounts of money in a short amount of time without an adequate financial plan. Taxes, distribution or sharing of assets, and failure to plan drastically complicate a divorce,” says Kelly.

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore

“All of these things combined make celebrity divorces much more complicated than the average.”

All the fame, fortune and success don’t seem to enough to hold some of these couples together. I often wonder if it’s due to boredom; sad to say but when you have it all and can buy anything, how spoiled have you become that you are bored with one relationship and wish to find something new?

On the other hand, with Ashton and Demi, Ashton’s infidelity was reason for Demi to divorce. But in Heidi Klum and Seal’s case, the couple reportedly split amicably – why not work harder to keep their marriage together then?

Then you look at those Hollywood marriages that have lasted. There are few that’s for sure but let’s take Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie – are they solid?

“The Pitt-Jolie marriage has actors with equal careers, equal assets, shared child rearing tasks, and good planning. These are some of the reasons that their marriage has lasted.”

So perhaps A-listers should date A-listers? If an A-list actor marries a D-list actor, there may be some animosity and jealousy perhaps with respect to career and finances… interesting thought.

“It takes special love, open communication and planning to make a normal marriage work. In celebrity divorces the extreme pressures of career add a very difficult element.”

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Mike Kelly tells Essence, What You Need to Know About Divorce

Posted by Levine Communications Office on February 9, 2012

Michael Kelly, the founder of the Michael Kelly Law Firm in Santa Monica

Michael Kelly, the founder of the Michael Kelly Law Firm in Santa Monica

Experts call this time of year “divorce season” for good reason. The proof is everywhere. This recent holiday season alone, we heard about more celebrity divorces than engagements in Hollywood. First, Vanessa Bryant divorced Kobe Bryant the same weekend Deion Sanders announced he was ending his marriage to wife Pilar. A few weeks later, news broke that model Heidi Klum and singer Seal were also calling it quits on their 7-year marriage.

Is there something in the air? To get the dirt on the truth behind messy divorces, and how you can steer clear of the drama should your turn come, we called upon celebrity family-law and divorce lawyer Michael Kelly Esq. to give you a quick crash course. “In divorce, you have good people acting at their worst,” says Kelly. Sounds ugly. Here’s what Kelly had to say.

ESSENCE.COM:They call this time of year “divorce season”. Why is that?
MICHAEL KELLY: Our firm sometimes get twelve calls a day for our services around this time. What happens in January is really the residuals of what has happened at the end of November and throughout December. They say, the most highly emotional holiday in America is Thanksgiving, because that’s the one that always has four days worth of vacation.It’s when people do the most traveling and getting together, and what I believe, is that the remembrances of things past begin to overwhelm you. You’re in a relationship, you’re miserable, and you say to yourself, I can’t take another holiday like this. You get an additional pressure in general from families. You might say to yourself, I can’t be around his Uncle Harry one more day. Then the New Year comes around, and it’s time to make resolutions, and one of the first they make is to get rid of their spouse. In addition to that, some people think that if they get a divorce at the beginning of the year, they won’t have to share their bonus with their spouse. But that’s not true at all.

ESSENCE: Is there some sort of magic number when it comes to divorce? We seem to hear the numbers 7 and 10 a lot.
KELLY: No, there isn’t legally. In California, if someone is married for ten years, it can be considered long-term marriage for long term support. The seven and the ten are pretty well acknowledged psychological markers. If you get by those, you can probably have a long run, unless you run into infidelity. What happens is, the newness of marriage goes on for maybe three years, then, unless you have been able to develop similar interests and companionship, marriage becomes a drag for a lot of people.

ESSENCE: What if you’re already married, but don’t have a prenuptial agreement in place?
KELLY: Try a post-nuptial agreement before divorce comes up. You can also give the person you’re signing the post-nuptial agreement with a bonus that’s, let’s say, 10-50 grand, for signing it. This is of course if you’re in the large interest or wealth category. Now, on the other side, no matter what anybody does, if the wealth existed before the marriage occurred, than a great deal of that will be separate property. Let’s say you had a 2-million-dollar house your mother left you, and all of a sudden you’re in a situation where you’re getting divorced. That house remains separate unless you put the house in your spouse’s name. That’s true for coin collections, money, stocks, and all things like that. Therefore, by being sure that you don’t put someone else’s name on [your assets] gratuitously, that’s the way to protect them best. If you both start out with zero, everything you have is community property. That’s what happened with the Kobe Bryant divorce. There was no prenuptial agreement, and he just kept earning $20 million a year. So [Vanessa’s] settlement was around $75 million without even batting an eyelash.

ESSENCE: If you’re going into business together, what’s your best bet?
KELLY: If a couple is going into business together, and they’re not yet married, they should get a prenuptial agreement.  With a post nuptial agreement they can do the same thing once they’re already married. Somebody could say, I’m going to put $100,000 of my separate property into this business, but here’s the post-nuptial agreement you’re going to sign, if you want me to put that money in.

ESSENCE: How can women protect themselves no matter what?
KELLY: There are several ways. One is to have children. Then you have eighteen years worth of lifetime support, period. The law in general says that the child is entitled to the value of the father. Whatever he makes determines the child support. That’s obviously not a tactic, per say, but it is an event that has a huge result in this cases. Your husband is responsible for taking care of the child for 18 years. You will benefit from that ultimately. A woman should also be sure that she asks to be put on the title of properties that are bought. If a man marries a woman who doesn’t have any money, but what she is bringing to the marriage is only status, like in so many cases with professional athletes, she really won’t have any negotiating power. The status is in those relationships is more superficial. She should request to be given a certain amount of money to put in the bank for her every month throughout the marriage.

Read more: http://www.essence.com/2012/02/07/what-you-need-to-know-about-avoiding-a-messy-divorce#ixzz1lwTid6mw

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