20 Celebrities Who Had To Pay More For Divorce Lawyers Than They Made In Cash


It’s one thing to splash a big amount of money when a celebrity is planning to get married, but the real expense comes in the divorce process, should it ever reach the point where two partners decide that their marriage has run its course. And considering that we’re talking about Hollywood here, hearing about a divorce in La La Land is not exactly uncommon — the only thing that varies is the amount of money these celebrities are seen spending to settle the divorce, child custodial agreements, and property shares.

It’s a process that can easily cost the wealthiest kind of celebrities a huge amount of money that can easily reach seven figures, depending on how severe the case is, whether there was a prenuptial agreement in place, scandals — literally, everything comes into play when divorce is on the line.

Stars who married without a prenuptial agreement are willing to splash millions on their attorneys knowing that if they lose in court, they could potentially have to give up half of their earnings, including personal assets, houses, cars, and more.

Below, we’ve gathered a list of celebrities who have found themselves splashing hundreds of thousands — if not millions — on attorneys to help them overcome their divorce drama, hoping that they will leave with an outcome that’s in their favor. It should be noted, however, that having an expensive lawyer doesn’t always mean they will work in their client’s favor, especially if there’s no prenuptial agreement in place. At most, they can reduce the amount the other half will receive.

Some situations ended better than others, but let it be known that not one of these cases was settled where one person didn’t have to splash about a huge amount of money to get the settlement they wanted, while others paid a fortune just to find themselves still losing out on what they initially thought they would get.

See below for the stars who paid a substantial amount to settle their divorce cases.



Following their almost eight-year marriage to one another, Madonna and Guy Ritchie decided to pull the plug on their marriage back in 2018, but that divorce came with quite an expense. It was alleged at the time that the pop singer was willing to come to a reasonable settlement, but after learning that Ritchie had asked for a substantial amount, Madonna was desperate to fight the request.

It’s unclear how much Guy was looking to make from the earnings Madonna had accumulated throughout her decades in showbiz, but it seemed to have been well over $140 million. It should also be noted that Madonna and Ritchie did not have a prenuptial agreement in place, and throughout their time as a couple, the iconic singer made a fortune from her record and touring sales, consequently meaning that Guy was entitled to a huge sum of that money.

While Madonna went out of her way to hire some of the best attorneys, even they couldn’t stop the judge from ruling out a settlement of $92 million — a sum that would have definitely hurt the singer’s pockets regardless of how wealthy she might have already been at that point.



Tiger Woods’ scandal became such a huge fiasco in his household that ex-wife Elin Nordegren saw no other choice but to pull the plug on her six-year marriage to the golf playing superstar, but let it be known that she didn’t walk away empty-handed.

2009 became the year in which several women would come forward to accuse Tiger of doing such unholy things, completely leaving Elin blindsided by the secrets her husband was keeping from her when preparing for tournaments that were far away from home.

It’s unclear how big of a fight Woods was willing to put up to fight the potential outcome of Elin landing up to $150 million once the divorce had been finalized, but attorneys were definitely in place to lower the amount that Tiger’s former wife was said to have been entitled to — at least they tried.

In 2010, Elin announced her divorce from Tiger Woods and once all was said and done, she was awarded a whopping $110 million from her partner’s fortune, excluding child support payments she would be getting from the two children, Sam and Charlie, that the ex-couple share together.



Michael Jordan’s divorce with then-wife Juanita Vanoy seemed to have come as a surprise to his closest family and friends, who had stressed in the days prior to the announcement being made that the former lovebirds were actively working on keeping their marriage intact.

While Michael and Juanita didn’t finalize their divorce until 2016, the initial filing was made on behalf of Vanoy all the way back in 2002. To this day, it’s unclear what actually transpired between the two that would see Juanita decide to call it quits with the athlete, but even then, she still seemed determined to make the relationship work, regardless of the problems that were rising up in their marriage.

By the end of 2016, however, it became evidently clear that the couple was both tired of the relationship and that neither one could get their romance to be what it used to be, despite having decided to stick it out for another 14 years after initially having planned to divorce.

Michael Jordan’s estate is a billion-dollar empire, so finalizing a divorce from a marriage in 1989 was bound to be expensive for the retired basketball player. Having had his legal attorneys try to lower the expected amount Vanoy was to receive, she still ended up walking away with $168 million.



Mel Gibson’s nearly 30-year marriage to Robyn Moore was definitely going to affect his financial state considering that their prenuptial agreement stated that the mother to seven of his children would be entitled to half of what the actor made during that time.

In 2006, Gibson found himself separated from his ex-wife who made the move to walk away after learning about Mel’s DUI, with reports at the time having claimed that the two had been on bad terms for some time and that Gibson’s alleged problems could have played a significant part in Moore’s decision to walk away.

Robyn had given the marriage another three years before actually filing for divorce, which may have been smart if she was looking at it from a financial standpoint — the longer she was married to Mel, the more money she would be entitled to.

Regardless of her reasons for waiting until 2009 to file and finalize the divorce, despite Mel’s attempts to have his very expensive attorneys lower the amount Robyn was expected to take, it still didn’t stop a judge from ruling for Mel to pay a whopping $425 million to the woman he had been married to for almost three decades.



When Phil Collins’ divorce to Orianne Cevey came about, it was claimed that the singer was hoping to reason with his former wife (through his legal team, of course) on the amount of money she would be walking away with. Sources say that Phil hired an expensive batch of lawyers in the hopes that they could help him reduce the chances of Orianne leaving the marriage with more than what he was willing to pay.

While it was never said on how much Phil was willing to pay Orianne, it definitely wasn’t to the tune of $47 million when a judge, in 2008, ruled that Collins’ net worth was substantially high enough to cover that portion of the settlement.

Phil Collins evidently being one of the richest singers in Europe might not have been affected by the settlement to the point he could potentially turn bankrupt, but splitting his fortune to an amount of $47 million is still hurtful, especially when considering the fact that the “I Can Feel It Coming” hitmaker started his career with next to nothing. As for his wife, though she is not doing much on her own, she doesn’t really have to considering that she basically made enough to last her a lifetime. So their marriage might have ended but at least she has enough money to make her happy.


Paul McCartney was said to have done everything in his power to stop Heather Mills from walking away with half of his fortune. And given that Paul had made a hefty amount of his money from his legacy with The Beatles, it’s easy to comprehend why he wouldn’t want to split his staggering net worth with his ex-wife.

Back in 2008 when the divorce announcement came about and finalized that same year, it was revealed that Paul and Heather had a very toxic relationship leading up to their decision to part ways, making the divorce process that much more unbearable for the two of them.

Because the marriage ended on sour terms, Heather seemed determined to rinse Paul from every last penny she could get once the divorce was finalized once and for all, but McCartney seemed to have been smart enough to hire himself the best attorneys he could get his hands on.

Legal fees were said to have been through the roof for Paul, but it was better for him to pay several million to his attorneys in order to fight the case than to give up anything in the range of $100 million to a woman that Paul had grown a dislike for. The settlement would end up coming to $48 million thanks to Paul’s amazing legal team.


James Cameron’s movies all tend to become blockbuster hits as soon as they hit the theatres, but when you’re married to a man of such power in the entertainment industry and a divorce comes about, you already know things are about to get a little messy — and expensive.

In 1999, James Cameron and Linda Hamilton had decided to call it quits on their marriage, citing irreconcilable differences as their reasoning behind giving up on their romance to one another. And it should be noted that their divorce came about well after the release of Titanic, meaning that James had money flowing into his bank account from all types of sources.

Luckily for James, however, his divorce didn’t end so bitter as it could have been. Through the help of his attorney and the cooperation of his ex-wife, Cameron didn’t have to pay anything higher than $50 million, which is measly considering the director’s resume at the time, and the amount of money he was charging per movie.

That $50 million he paid Linda is only a fraction of what James has since made from the Avatar blockbuster hit, which has since expanded into a franchise with two follow-up films already in the works.



Kelsey Grammer paid a lot for his attorneys and still lost a lot — things can clearly still go wrong even when one thinks they have the divorce outcome in the bag. Grammer was forced to pay his ex-wife, Camille Grammer, a whopping $60 million following their decision to part ways, which was very well documented in the media at the time.

Kelsey had called Camille all kinds of names, and from what the reality star claims, a string of verbal abuse on an ongoing basis hurt her in ways that Kelsey can’t even imagine. So what better way to give someone a taste of their own medicine by rinsing their pockets as much as they could? Camille could have walked away with more than the $60 million but a judge settled with that number, presumably because the attorneys Kelsey had in place were doing at least something to prevent the chances of the Beverly Hills ex-housewife from walking away with even more cash.

They say the best revenge is bettering yourself, but in this case, the best revenge was making millions upon millions of dollars from someone who treated you terribly. They both got what they deserved, really, and thankfully it worked out in the victim’s favor.



What’s $100 million to someone like Steven Spielberg? Probably nothing, which is why the settlement with his ex-wife, Amy Irving, presumably didn’t bother the director as much as people would have thought.

The bothersome part about it, however, might have been that Steven was said to have paid a substantial amount in reducing the amount that his former partner could get from his own bank account. And while that may have been the case, Steven Spielberg’s resume of hit blockbuster films easily helped him earn that money back in no time.

At the time of their divorce, Steven was already said to have been worth $300-400 million, and while $100 million may have still been a lot to some people, the famous director seemed sure of himself to get that money back with the string of films he was bound to direct in years time.

Fortunately for the famous Hollywood star, his estate, combined with his net worth, have staggered to the tune of an unbelievable $1 billion, which begs the question on whether Amy wishes she can stick it out a little longer for a higher settlement, perhaps.



Fans didn’t know what was more shocking to find out: the fact that Amber Heard had married Johnny Depp or that the marriage quickly started to crumble over claims that the actor was abusive to his former partner.

Amber had made a string of claims against Johnny, stressing that the relationship became so toxic that she often feared for her life when around the famous Hollywood icon, telling a judge in the midst of her divorce that she suffered endless kinds of tiring encounters with her husband, that at the end of the day, were not good for her health.

Depp’s team has strongly denied these claims, and have continued to do so, but what would become more of a challenge would be the money that Amber would receive now that it was clear that both parties wanted nothing to do with one another anymore.

Endless numbers were thrown about, with some sources claiming Heard wanted $50 million from Depp, but unfortunately for her, despite her efforts through the help of her legal team, she only ended up with $7 million which she claimed to have donated to charity.

It would seem that Amber didn’t want to risk the chances of paying a lot for a legal team that couldn’t deliver and consequently losing more than earning.



Sherri Shepherd considers her marriage to Lamar Sally one of her biggest regrets seeing that even she wasn’t prepared for the legal fees and costs that would come her way through her involvement with her ex-husband.

The twosome was married for three years before things started to turn sour and Shepherd simply wanted out. But her decision in wanting to walk away from the marriage came at a price — and it wasn’t cheap either.

During the time of their divorce, Sherri and Sally were still expecting a child together, through the help of a surrogate, meaning that they were already going to be attached to the baby regardless of whether they were divorcing or not. Shockingly enough, Sherri had attempted to remove her name from the birth certificate of the baby before a judge ruled that her attempt would not work and that she would have to cough up the cash to Lamar to co-parent the minor together.

While the divorce settlement wasn’t all that hard to get by, in terms of what Sherri had to pay, it’s the $4,100 a month in child support that’s really bothering her — particularly since she no longer shares a good relationship with Sally. The money is expected to increase once the child turns 13, according to reports, to the tune of $4,600.



In what would be one of the saddest divorce stories in Hollywood, Taylor Armstrong definitely found herself in a nasty court battle with former husband, Russell, who she claimed was extremely mean towards her. Not only that, but throughout the years, what made him worse was that he had accumulated so much debt that he was in over his head.

It was alleged that Taylor was hoping to walk away with at least a small fortune from Russell, given the amount of time they were married to one another, but that wasn’t even possible since Armstrong’s earnings were next to none.

Russell reportedly owed money to several companies, leading him to try and cough up $250,000 to one of his business associates — and that’s just one of the people that he was expected to pay the money back to.

Things became so overwhelming for Russell that even though his divorce had been finalized and Taylor had spent little of her money to try and walk away with something, her plans failed. What was even worse was that a month later, after the divorce was finalized, Russell passed away from his own doing. It was a very tragic thing, regardless of the divorce and how the couple felt about each other.



Jesse James made headlines in 2010 after it was revealed that the former husband to Sandra Bullock had been leading a double life. Fans were outraged as they were protective of Sandra, and couldn’t believe that he would do that to her.

Jesse was commonly known to have been hooking up with night workers who he would find on several internet websites, completely leaving Sandra in the dark about his life. He may have presented himself as a doting and loving husband, but that was most definitely not the case.

The couple was married for five years, and when the divorce came about in 2010, it was evidently clear that James would attempt to walk away with at least something. While putting up a fight to grant himself access to some of Sandra’s funds, Jesse ended up walking away with a small fortune — but it was not even enough to purchase a lavish mansion on the hills out in Hollywood, though.

Considering that the couple was together for five years, one would think that Jesse could have gotten at least $20 million, but perhaps bad lawyers and the public knowledge of mistreating his wife with that many scandals played a part in the case of walking away with next to nothing.



Divorce lawyers became expensive for Tom Cruise, who allegedly had several things in place that he wanted ex-wife Katie Holmes to follow if he was going to grant her a piece of his wealthy net worth. It should be said that Katie was going to walk away with millions regardless of the proposed plan that Tom supposedly had in mind, but it may have been significantly less.

From what was gathered in the process of Katie dealing with the divorce, Tom Cruise had made an offer to Katie that would see her accept a gag order, meaning that she would not be allowed to discuss anything regarding their five-year marriage with the public.

This would evidently mean that she’s not to participate in interviews, write a book about her life with Tom, or even discuss the actor’s Scientology religion — at least not in a way that could tarnish his name. And given that the marriage ended because of Scientology, it would seem that a gag order was a reasonable thing to put in place.

The twosome’s divorce came and went in a matter of months. Sources have since alleged that Tom no longer shares a relationship with Katie or his daughter, Suri.



Brandi Glanville seemed determined to walk away with a substantial amount of money following the news that her then-husband, Eddie Cibrian had also found the time to be in a relationship with singer-songwriter LeAnn Rimes.

Brandi was convinced that she would spend the rest of her life with Eddie, so after learning that Cibrian not only broke her trust, but also planned on leaving her, the reality star was determined to drench her actor husband of as much money as she could — not to say that Cibrian was rich, by any means.

Whatever penny she could get, Brandi was determined to get it, regardless of whether it came from the divorce settlement or through child support for the two teenagers the couple shares together. While it’s unclear how much Brandi paid in legal fees, it couldn’t have been that much because, in 2010, Glanville had just started earning enough money to purchase her own home in Los Angeles — and not a regular home, for that matter.

It’s believed that she lost tens of thousands in the divorce process of hoping she would walk away with a good amount of cash to make up for the fees, but that didn’t end up being the case at all.



The end of Jessica Simpson’s marriage to Nick Lachey broke the hearts of millions — well, at least if you cared about the singer’s personal life and regularly caught up with her infamous show, Newlyweds.

While fans were mourning the end of an oh-so-perfect marriage, Jessica was mourning the amount of money she would have to cough up just to finalize the ordeal once and for all, despite having hired a very good team of attorneys to fight the chances of Nick walking away with millions.

It was never mentioned as to how much Lachey ended up getting, but sources believe he certainly bagged himself a significant amount of money, and that’s despite the fact that Jessica was actively working with her lawyers to drastically lower that amount… and failed.

Of course, looking back at it now, Jessica Simpson probably wasn’t too stressed about paying her ex-husband off since she has since launched a successful clothing line that’s reportedly turned into a billion-dollar empire, giving her every reason to quit her short-lived music career. She can now spoil herself in the millions she’s now earning from the clothes she sells.



Brad Pitt married Angelina Jolie in 2014 and found himself in the midst of a divorce two years later. Of course, it shouldn’t be forgotten that the twosome had been together since 2005, so their relationship had definitely been something that was to be respected by Hollywood’s standards.

At the time of Angelina’s divorce filing, sources claimed that the actress had a huge problem with the way Brad was parenting their six children, before Pitt would later go on to admit that he had been struggling with problems that he had developed over the years giving his service to Hollywood. It was a lot of stuff that had to do with partying, and it was bleeding into his personal life because he didn’t know how to separate the two. Of course, that never turns out well, and that is what ultimately led to their falling out. The couple’s divorce process has been no easy task, with reports claiming that Angelina Jolie could easily bag herself up to $100 million from the divorce.

Given the fact that Brad’s had issues in the past, Angelina could very well bribe Brad into giving her the money in favor of sharing custody of their six children, giving Jolie an advantage in the divorce settlement in ways Brad can’t even fathom regardless of who he hires to help him fight the case.



When Mel B announced she had filed for divorce from husband Stephen Belafonte, things were bound to turn ugly between the duo, especially since the former Spice Girls singer had made claims that her former partner had been mean towards her throughout their marriage, in the presence of Mel’s children.

Lawyer fees ended up costing Mel B a fortune since Stephen wasn’t going to leave empty-handed. While he reportedly didn’t get much from the earnings his ex-wife had made over the course of years that they were married, he strongly fought for a hefty amount in child support — a case which the “Holler” songstress had attempted to prevent through the act of multiple attorneys.

And while they seemed to have tried their best efforts in reducing the child support as much as they could, Mel B ended up being told by a judge that she would still have to splash $40,000 a month to Stephen, given that they share one daughter together. And that’s after Mel had already spent a good amount of money during the divorce process and the child support case.

Sporty Spice is still said to be fighting it out in court in the hopes to eventually reduce the amount she’s said to owe Belafonte every month.


Usher’s alleged scandal while married to celebrity stylist Tameka Foster would go on to cost the singer a fortune, for reasons fans wouldn’t have expected.

Seeing that Tameka had a lot of dirt on Usher, it seems, the R&B legend is said to have come to an agreement, through the court, that would prevent Tameka on discussing things concerning her marriage with the iconic singer — one of those things would have been his supposed straying ways.

Given that the former couple had also shared two children between one another, expenses were quickly going to rise for Usher, who would not only have to give up a significant amount of cash to settle the divorce but also support Foster in spousal and child support payments.

Years after their divorce, Usher’s scandal, allegedly with the bridesmaid, would end up surfacing online, so the money he had paid Tameka to keep the secret evidently became a waste — but it’s not like Foster would then have had to give the cash back. She most certainly kept it. Once again, justice was served, and the woman of the relationship got what she deserved. We only hope that she was able to mend her broken heart, and that she knows she is better off without him.



Being married for no more than 72 days can be expensive — just ask Kim Kardashian. When she divorced NBA player Kris Humphries in 2011, even the reality star didn’t expect the legal fees that would come with ending the marriage, let alone the publicity and shame she would bring upon her family for such a short-lived arrangement.

Kim splashed hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees to finally divorce Kris, who had lengthened the process for almost two years, having tried his hardest to get the TV star to admit that she had only married him for the purpose of their reality show and the millions she was bound to make from the extravagant event.

Kim, who has heavily denied marrying Kris for money, spent a lot of money to settle the divorce, particularly because she had already started dating Kanye West at the time she was making endless trips to the court. So the quicker it was all over the better. And though she spent a lot to finalize the process, she still made millions from magazine and reality show deals, so it evened itself out, to say the least.


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