Lessons Learned from Kaley Cuoco Divorce

Kaley Cuoco became the second-highest paid TV actress (2nd to Sofia Vergara), after signing a $72 million dollar 3-year contract for her role in CBS’s hit show The Big Bang Theory. Yes, that’s $1 million dollars per episode for 72 episodes….and yes, now I’m reconsidering my chosen career path. Ahem, sorry, I guess that’s beside the point.

After only dating for 6 months, Kaley’s marriage to professional tennis player Ryan Sweeting lasted a mere year-and-a-half. What interests us is that the couple got married in 2013 and Kaley signed the above-mentioned contract in 2014. Even so, Kaley walked away from the marriage with her entire $72 million dollar fortune. She walks away from the marriage paying Sweeting only a lump sum of $165,000, about $195,000 for Sweeting’s personal trainer bills, and his attorney’s fees (we don’t know that amount). And even though Sweeting asked for spousal support in the divorce, it does not look like Kaley will be required to pay him any support. All-in-all, we must say that Kaley made out extremely well!

You may be wondering how Kaley was able to pull this off, and I will tell you it is because the two entered into a pre-nuptial agreement prior to getting married, which protected her Big Bang Theory fortune in the event of divorce. California is a community property state, meaning that if the couple did not have the pre-nup, anything earned by either party during the marriage would have been community property and each entitled to ½ of it. In other words, the millions Kaley earned beginning in 2014 when her contract was renewed (and anything else she earned since the marriage in 2013), through the date when the couple separated would have been half his. Instead, the pre-nup insulated her earnings and ensured that she was able to keep her earnings in their entirety.

On another note, Kaley has offered another piece of advice for married couples; don’t tattoo your wedding date on your body. She learned this the hard way, after tattooing her wedding date on her back following her marriage to Sweeting. When they split she had to get another, even bigger, tattoo to cover up the first one.

So if Kaley has taught us anything, it’s this:

  1. You CAN protect your fortune from divorce; it just means that you need to begin making smart financial decisions before you even enter into a marriage.
  2. Don’t get a commemorative wedding date tattoo. That just never ends well.
  3. It’s time to sign up for acting classes and land a job acting on a hit TV show (oh wait, maybe that’s just me?)

Please contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse, a legal separation, or have questions regarding child custody and visitation. Nancy J. Bickford is the only Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) in San Diego County who is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.



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