Up until now, we’ve only quipped about child support and prenups that assign dollar values to celebrity relationships based on net worth. As it turns out, net worth is a pretty unreliable metric in an industry where you could be a global superstar one day, and writing songs about pizza the next.
That's exactly what happened to Macaulay Culkin after all.
On the flipside, if you divorced an up-and-comer before he or she became the next big thing, you’d be missing out on a much larger settlement. You can recalculate spousal and child support, but it means heading back to the courthouse.
And even we don’t like going to the courthouse.
One approach is to cement support payments as a percentage of income, which is exactly what happened to Jeremy Renner when he divorced his wife of 10 months.
Before he was Hawkeye, he was the Cateye guru
Renner met stand-in model Sonni Pacheco on the set of Mission Impossible 5, but Jeremy-the-Jock’s first foray into Hollywood paychecks was earned painting faces.
There’s nothing wrong with a man who knows how to work a Kabuki brush, but getting married, having a kid, and getting divorced during the same period that you transitioned from McDonalds to Michelin stars could cost you a pretty penny.
When Mr. and Mrs. Renner got married and signed their prenuptial agreement, Jeremy was already on the upswing, earning between $1-2 million per movie. Just a couple years later he was making more than five times that amount.
Guns, lies and an intimate video
Everything about this split should’ve been cut and dried. Jeremy and Sonni had worked out a 50/50 custody arrangement before the divorce was filed and nothing about their prenuptial agreement seemed out of place.
But leave it to an aspiring actress whose claim to fame is appearing in a straight-to-DVD American Pie sequel to make a fuss of things.
In a rambling document filed with the court, Mrs. Renner vaguely asserted that the couple’s prenup was based on fraud and that her husband had stolen her passport, birth certificate and social security card.
And that was only round one.
She later piled on with claims that Renner left his gun collection lying around the house for baby Ava to play with and that he had refused to pay child support, telling her to “get a job!”
Sonni was unable to prove any of her claims, and Jeremy’s team responded with nasty allegations about her post-pregnancy drug use and her threats to release “intimate videos” if he didn’t continue helping with her green card application.
A happy ending...sort of
Eventually, the coke-head mother and the gun-toting father worked out a deal that included joint custody and $13K per month in child support.
The agreement also included a clause stipulating that if Renner makes over $2.3 million per year, 5% of the “above-average” income goes to supporting Ava.
Who ever said amendments to prenups don't pay off?
Between The Avengers: Yea, We’re Still Making Them and Arctic Justice (note: we didn’t add jokes to that title), Renner is scheduled to pull down at least $10.5 million in 2018, which is $8.2 million over the baseline figure in the divorce settlement. Five percent of that figure, divided across 12 months is an extra $34,166 per month.
So in a few short years, Renner’s monthly child support payments have the potential to jump from $13K to $47K. And that’s just for the two weeks Ava spends with Sonni!
What did we learn?
First of all, everyone should stop making “intimate videos.” Everything’s in the cloud and of course you’ll eventually be extorted by a coked-out model looking for a green card.
Second, stop going to see The Avengers. Jeremy Renner shouldn’t be making $8 million for dressing up with a bow and quiver, largely because it’s costing him thousands of dollars every month.
Third, regardless of whether you’re divorcing a spouse of 10 months or 10 years, find a legal team with your best interests in mind. Otherwise, your next promotion could triple your child support payments.
Buckingham, LaGrandeur & Williams has been helping Renton families resolve their legal disputes for 27 years. So regardless of whether you’re a struggling makeup artist who needs a prenup, a multimillionaire looking for a fair divorce settlement or somewhere in between -- give the BLW team a call today.