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Third time not so lucky: prenups, pleas for privacy and another divorce for Britney Spears

Once again, Britney Spears finds herself part of divorce proceedings. Her third husband, actor Sam Asghari, filed for divorce in a Los Angeles court in July. Asghari cited “irreconcilable differences”, and that he would be looking for financial support and his legal costs from Spears. The filed papers also stated that no valuation had been made of their individual and joint assets to date.

 

Sticking to the prenup

Having been together for six years, the couple signed a pre-nup before their wedding just 14 months ago. There has been unsubstantiated rumours that Asghari would challenge that pre-nup, leading to his representative Brandon Cohen stating to The Hollywood Reporter that:

“There are many claims that Sam is challenging the prenup and threatening to exploit his ex-wife with video. However, all these claims are false, as no negative intention has ever been directed towards her and never will be. Sam has always and will always support her.”

(Note the statement already states ‘ex-wife’, even though the divorce has not gone through as yet.)

Pre-nups are legal documents under Californian law. Both parties need to sign a pre-nup with full knowledge of what they are signing and what it contains. See here for more on UK pre and post nuptial agreements.

 

Equal division of assets

Under Californian law, any property either of you acquire starting on the day you marry and ending on the day your marriage ends, is supposed to be divided equally between you when you divorce. This can be negotiated and if neither side agree, the Superior Court can split property and debt equally between both parties.

If the couple cannot agree and go to court, a judge can overrule elements seen as unenforceable, or if the pre-nup appears to be unfair. Californian pre-nuptial agreements cannot address child support as both parents are legally responsible for the support of their children.

This is a reminder that different jurisdictions deal with financial settlements very differently. On that basis, it is always advisable to seek advice from a family law specialist. We live in an increasingly global world.

 

The Instagram announcements

Both Spears and Asghari released statements in the current method of choice for celebrities, their Instagram accounts.

Asghari said:

“After 6 years of love and commitment to each other my wife and I have decided to end our journey together. We will hold onto the love and respect we have for each other and I wish her the best always. … Asking for privacy seems ridiculous so I will just ask for everyone including media to be kind and thoughtful.”

Spears’ statement was more emotional;

“As everyone knows, Hesam and I are no longer together … six years is a long time to be with someone so, I’m a little shocked but … I’m not here to explain why because it’s honestly nobody’s business. But, I couldn’t take the pain any more, honestly. I’ve been playing it strong for way too long and my Instagram may seem perfect but it’s far from reality and I think we all know that.”

Over and out in 14 months

Mr Asghari met Ms Spears on the set of a music video in 2016, and the couple dated whilst Spears was still in a 13-year conservatorship. When that ended in November 2021, the couple had already been engaged for two months, and were married on June 9, 2022. Their wedding was attended by 60 guests who included Madonna, Paris Hilton, Drew Barrymore, and Donatella Versace.

This is Spears’ third marriage. She had two children with her first husband Kevin Federline before divorcing in 2007. Her second marriage to childhood friend Jason Alexander was annulled in 2024 after just 55 hours. (Yes, hours.) Clearly there was acrimony in that separation as Alexander was later convicted of aggravated trespassing and battery after gate-crashing Spears’ wedding to Asghari. He was also issued a protective order forbidding him from coming within 100 yards of Spears.

 

Future plans

Both Asghari and Spears have plans for their separate futures. Asghari is said to be pursuing an acting and presenting career. Spears’ new book, “The Woman in Me”, described as “A brave and astonishingly moving story about freedom, fame, motherhood, survival, faith, and hope” is due for release on 24 October 2023.

 

UK Divorce with LGFL

We may not all have Spears’ fortune, but it’s still important to ensure that your divorce financial settlement is balanced and accurate in terms of disclosure of assets. To discuss this and any other aspect of divorce in England and Wales, contact us for your initial one hour reduced fee consultation:

- Call us

- Email us

- Request your appointment online