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From Rosanne to Sandra Bullock: Female Stars' Divorce Settlements

A recent media article highlights the amount it cost a host of famous female celebrities -- all more well-known and with higher salaries than their spouses -- to secure a divorce from their husbands.

In most cases, the answer to that is short and simple: A lot. Moreover, certain factors are at the core of virtually all the cited marital dissolutions, most centrally prenuptial agreements and alimony/spousal support.

Consider, for example, the 1994 divorce settlement between Rosanne Barr and Tom Arnold. It has been widely reported that when Barr's attorney first suggested that Barr execute a premarital agreement with Arnold, she fired the lawyer. Undoubtedly, Barr regretted that: Arnold reportedly received $50 million in the settlement inked just four years later.

The settlement amount in Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman's divorce is undisclosed. Although Aguilera and Bratman did execute a prenuptial agreement, which provided for nothing at all to be given Bratman in the event of a divorce, Aguilera apparently did leave him with an unstated amount.

No such uncertainty attaches to what Rene Elizondo received in his divorce settlement with Janet Jackson. Elizondo and Jackson were together for more than a decade, and he was a major factor behind her career success. When the couple split, Elizondo claimed that he was involuntarily coerced into signing a prenup. He eventually received $10 million in a settlement.

Some divorces, conversely, are cheap. Sandra Bullock filed for divorce in Texas. Under that state's law, a spouse must be married for at least 10 years in order to seek spousal support. The inability to make that claim left Bullock's ex-spouse, Jesse James, with nothing.

The same result accrued for Nick Lachey after he and Jessica Simpson divorced in 2005. What stands out as singular in that couple's dissolution, however, is that Lachey -- despite having a net worth far less than Simpson's -- refused to even request any amount of money, although Simpson was estimated to have an estate valued at $35 million-plus at the time.

Related Resource: San Francisco Chronicle, "Manimony: What Divorce Costs Famous Women" June 21, 2011

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