Once again, a celebrity break-up might be the result of infidelity. With the cheating allegations swirlng around Gavin Rossdale, we asked our resident expert in love and loss, Untying the Knot star Vikki Ziegler, about what this could mean for his uncoupling from wife Gwen Stefani.
Cheating can be devasting for most couples. I do believe, however, that cheating is a symptom, not the cause, of marital discord. Most couples do not discuss issues that arise in their marriage; they fester, become resentful, then look outside the marriage instead of trying to fix them internally. Regardless, a couple should be making their marital foundation strong before they wed. That’s why I wrote the Pre-Marital Planner, which discusses the important topic of prenuptial agreements to ensure couples discuss the much needed and difficult topics before walking down the aisle.
If you have a prenuptial agreement and include a cheating provision (which is very uncommon) it will not affect your divorce terms of the prenup, unless there can be a claim made for dissipation of marital funds used on the paramour for which a credit is sought. Meaning, if in the Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale divorce he actually cheated on Gwen with the nanny and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on her, Gwen could make a claim for half those monies back because they were joint marital funds spent on a third party without her consent.
It has been reported that there is no prenup in the Gwen vs. Gavin divorce matter, which may make things very difficult. Gwen stands to lose up to half of her marital fortune if divorced in a community property state like California. There are a total of nine community property states that will equally divide assets and income unless there is a prenup in place before the marriage. The remaining states have equitable distribution laws which divide assets on a fair basis, not necessarily 50/50.
The moral of the story is most couples — especially a high net worth individual — should execute a prenup to help protect their income and assets after they marry and help with estate planning and business resolutions.