How Not Having a Prenup Could Affect Adele’s Divorce

Hossein Berenji, Jun 11, 2019

It was recently reported that Adele and her husband Simon Konecki have called it quits and are getting a divorce. Adele, who is worth an estimated $180 million, stands to lose a lot of money in the split if they get divorced in California. The “Hello” singer and Konecki did not have a prenuptial agreement. Under California law, Konecki could walk away with a considerable amount of Adele’s money.

Divorce Residency Requirements in California

You can’t just choose to get a divorce in California. The state has certain residency requirements that must be satisfied before it will consider a petition.

At least one of the spouses must have been:

  • A resident of the state of California for at least six months before filing for divorce.
  • A resident of the county in which the couple has filed for divorce.

In order for Adele to get divorced in California, she and/or her spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months. Having property or business ties to the state isn’t enough to satisfy the residency requirements.

Spouses Entitled to One-Half of Community Property in California

If Adele or her spouse satisfy the residency requirements, they can seek a divorce in the state. This could offer a huge payday for her soon-to-be ex-spouse. California is a community property state. Both spouses are entitled to one-half of community property.

Community property includes almost everything that either spouse acquires during the marriage. This can include:

  • Wages
  • Retirement benefits
  • Royalties
  • Intellectual property
  • Real property, including land and homes
  • Jewelry and clothing
  • Vehicles, and more.

Most property owned by each spouse before marriage will be considered separate property, which they can keep without issue after the split.

It’s believed that Adele acquired most of her fortune while she was married to Konecki. Anything she earned before the wedding day is hers to keep. Anything she’s earned since then is fair game in a divorce.

Spouses Can Sidestep California Law With a Prenup

There are ways to get around California’s community property rules. Couples can execute a private contract known as a prenuptial agreement before they get married. The prenup can dictate what will happen – and how property gets divided – if the couple ends up getting divorced. The prenup, if legal and entered into willingly by both spouses, will be enforceable. The spouses will be bound to its terms, not California property division laws.

Experts don’t believe that Adele and her husband have a prenup. As a result, they’ll be subject to the default California divorce laws. Her husband will then be entitled to half of their marital assets, including whatever fortune Adele has acquired since their wedding day.

Mediation, Arbitration Can Help Stars Keep Details of Divorce Private

Most celebrities don’t want the details of their divorces to be public knowledge. If they go through the courts, details of their split won’t be private. Many celebrities and high-net-worth couples rely on mediation and arbitration as they navigate a divorce. These processes allow them to negotiate and finalize the terms of their divorce privately. Once the terms are set, their divorce attorneys can also ask the court to seal those records to protect their privacy.