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Top Divorce Lawyer Dishes On Celebrity Divorce Secrets

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 3/03/2016 Stephanie Marcus
ATHENA IMAGE © Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

If you're a celebrity and you are getting divorced, there's a good chance Laura Wasser is your lawyer. 

She is one of the top lawyers in her field -- negotiating prenups, divorce settlements and custody arrangements for the Hollywood elite, including Angelina Jolie, Denise Richards, Nick Lachey, Britney Spears, Jennifer Garner, Gwen Stefani, Melanie Griffith, and the Kardashian sisters. 

Her A-list clientele means that her name pops up frequently in the tabloids, but it's in a new profile from Bloomberg Business that she's spilling the secrets of how celebrities really get divorced:

Breaking up is hard (and expensive) to do

Celebrities shell out $850 an hour for Wasser's services, and she also requires a "$25,000 retainer and rarely represents people who have less than $10 million." 

Celebrities often need to be convinced of what's at stake when they get married

Wasser is often brought in when a star's team wants to protect their client financially, but the star is too lovestruck to understand that a prenup is probably going to be their BFF. 

"[In California] you can sit on the couch and eat bonbons while your husband’s at work, and you’ll still get half of everything," Wasser said of the state's community property laws. “I mean, love, honor, and obey -- OK, fine, whatever. But the point is the minute you get married in the state of California, every dollar you earn, every page of that novel you write, every painting you paint is communal property. It’s half-owned by your spouse.”

There's a reason so many celebrities split up at the same time

Wasser tries to dilute media attention for her most high-profile clients by filing their cases around the same time. 

"I’ll tell my clients, 'I have someone else, I can’t say who, but you should really wait and file at the same time,'" she explained, accounting for the proximity of Jennifer Garner's split from Ben Affleck and Gwen Stefani calling it quits with Gavin Rossdale this past summer. 

The entire settlement is often negotiated well before the couple officially files documents

“I think we worked on it a good year -- no, a year and a half -- before it came out on TMZ,” actress Melanie Griffith said of her divorce from Antonio Banderas in 2014. “And when we did file it, there were some personal things that were agreed upon by Antonio and myself that we had removed from the official papers so they wouldn’t get out.”

Get ready for another string of celebrity splits

"Wasser is working on about 45 cases now, many of them divorces. Several will be filed in March, after the Oscars; her clients don’t want to walk the red carpet alone," according to Bloomberg Business.

For more of the secrets of how celebs get divorced, head over to Bloomberg Business. 

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