What is Mary J. Blige worth? Depending on the website, her earnings are anywhere from $5 million to $10 million all the way to $82 million. And while celebrities are notorious for saying the estimated earnings aren’t accurate, in addition to these sites not taking into account these artists’ expenses (security, bills, homes, travel, accounting, etc.), it still doesn’t make her husband Kendu Isaac’s request for approximately $129K per month sound any smaller. That adds up to $1.54 million per year.
Now before MJB fans get wrapped up in strong opinions on alimony for men versus women, let’s ponder on what her husband of 13 years (married in 2003) until now actually was responsible for doing to make her “Just Fine.”
In 2007, MJB credited Isaacs with “saving her life.” According to People magazine, Isaacs was the reason she stopped drinking and doing drugs. She met him through Dana “Queen Latifah” Owens as a manager and producer, and the two went on to form a family consisting of his two children from another marriage. Looks like she found “someone to love” her.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics guesstimates that producers make somewhere around $68K per year, that salary more than likely isn’t taking into account being the producer of a mega R&B star. His annual salary during their 12-year marriage isn’t clear, but it’s safe to assume that that was more than $68K, too. And a prenup apparently isn’t part of the package for this couple, judging from numerous reports.
But for some people, women especially, it may still be jarring to hear such a high amount. Forbes even points out that “hundreds of thousands of men are eligible for alimony, yet don’t receive it.” Here are some of the factors that a court uses to make the determination of how much one can earn in alimony (via Attorney.com):
- The length of the marriage
- Each person’s current salary and future earning potential
- Each person’s other income from sources such as interest, dividends and trusts
- Whether one spouse contributed to the education and career advancement of the other during the marriage
- Whether one spouse was a homemaker during the marriage
- If the couple has children, whether the custodial parent’s future earnings will be limited because of their parental responsibilities
- The age of each spouse and whether either spouse has any physical, mental or emotional issues
- Whether either party was at fault in the divorce
- Whether there are other economic circumstances that seriously affect either spouse
Although the two didn’t have children together, and she said she would never adopt or have her own children, she has identified his biological kids as “my own children.” While that could be a factor, the contribution to “career advancement” will probably be more influential.
A judge or jury will first have to decide if MJB and Isaacs indeed do have a binding prenuptial agreement. If it is determined that the prenuptial agreement is invalid (or nonexistent), then the question of how much alimony Isaacs is entitled can be addressed.
Tips for creating, agreeing on a prenuptial agreement
Before signing a prenuptial agreement, here are some things to consider:
Potential earning capacity: When couples get married, a spouse may be at a certain income level. Parties should try to negotiate a sliding scale into a prenuptial agreement that allows them to get a larger financial settlement if one spouse’s earning potential increases during the marriage.
Consulting a lawyer: This sounds obvious, but too many people are so head over heels in love and blindly sign prenuptial agreements. It is very difficult to invalidate a prenuptial agreement on the grounds that the individual did not read it or understand it. One way to invalidate a prenuptial agreement is to argue enforcing the terms of the agreement would be unconscionable. Another contract defense that can be argued to invalidate a prenuptial agreement is the contract was signed under duress (i.e., the party was presented the prenuptial agreement a couple of days or hours before the wedding and did not have an opportunity to consult a lawyer). Todd Tucker from “Real Housewives of Atlanta” was treated like the bad guy for shying against signing Kandi Burruss’ contract two days before their wedding, but from a legal perspective, this is a smart decision for anyone.
It appears Isaacs is arguing duress and unconscionability to invalidate his prenuptial agreement with MJB. His lawyers are alleging, “immensely invalid, unenforceable and unconscionable.”
Mary J. Blige won’t be singing, “No More Drama” for awhile if this divorce plays out in court. Fans will have to wait it out to see if a judge determines Isaacs has grounds to invalidate the prenup.
Have more questions about prenuptial agreements and celebrity divorces? Contact J. Paye & Associates today.
Shamontiel L. Vaughn contributed to this blog. Find out more about her at Shamontiel.com.
The information contained here is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered but should not be construed as one-size-fits-all legal advice. Speak to an attorney specifically about your contractual agreement for specific terms and conditions.