Ah celebrities -- what would we talk about without them, especially when it comes to their legal disputes?
The latest person we can gossip about is Kelsey Grammer's ex-wife Camille Grammer, who will receive about $30 million in the couple's divorce settlement, according to TMZ. Camille says that when she and Kelsey met, he was broke. So all of the assets that the couple possessed when they split were acquired during their marriage.
Was this settlement so different than what a court would have decided? The answer depends on the state where that court is located.
California, where Kelsey and Camille Grammer's divorce took place, is a community property state like Texas. This means that without an agreement saying otherwise, all property acquired between the Grammers' date of marriage and their date of separation is jointly owned by both of them. By default, community property is split 50/50 upon divorce.
Unlike California, Texas allows for one spouse to receive more than her 50% community-property share if the judge sees good reason to do so. The allegations that Kelsey Grammer had been cheating before the couple's breakup may have affected a judge's decision, but the amount of money would also play a role in that decision.
If it was true that Kelsey was nearly broke at the time he married Camille, then it's likely that everything the couple amassed after their wedding would be considered community property. The only difference would be if they had signed a prenuptial agreement that overrides the community property presumption, or if the money had been inherited by one of the spouses. In such cases, the assets can be considered the separate property of the spouse who received it.
Here, it is likely that a Texas court would have just split the property 50/50. Even though there was an allegedly cheating spouse, the amount of money at stake -- $60 million -- is more than enough to support a person for the rest of his life. This is why you need a good family law attorney to let you know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. There's no point in going to court if you can settle amicably.
- Kelsey Grammer Divorce Settlement Gives $30M to Ex-Wife Camille (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice Blog)
- What are the Texas Rules for Separate and Community Property? (FindLaw's Houston Family Law Blog)
- Texas Community Property: Couple Back in Court Over Divorce Debt (FindLaw's Houston Family Law Blog)