Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Most Complex Celebrity Divorces
All You Need is Love
All You Need is Love
Among the most publicized aspects of singer Paul McCartney's divorce from model Heather Mills was the absence of a prenuptial agreement, even though such documents are often ignored entirely by British courts. In the U.K., courts consider the length of the marriage, the needs of any children, the prior assets and the relative contributions of the parties to the matrimonial property as among the most significant factors when determining the division of property.

In the case of McCartney and Mills, almost all of these factors were contested by both sides' attorneys. Mills claimed to have had a significant income from modeling prior to the marriage, but McCartney's income from his career as an entertainer and subsequent investments dwarfed hers. Just how much of a difference was to be a matter of some debate. Mills requested £125 million (approximately $200 million) of McCartney's estate, which her lawyers estimated to be valued at around £850 million ($1.5 billion), but McCartney's attorneys offered her only £15.8 million (about $28 million), and valued McCartney's estate at only £450 million (around $800 million).

Mills, perhaps sensing that the case was going badly for her, dumped a carafe of water over the head of one of McCartney's attorneys during proceedings and also unsuccessfully attempted to have the judgment sealed. The final resolution was largely seen as a victory for McCartney's team. Mills was awarded just over £24 million (about $45 million), significantly more than McCartney's attorneys had initially offered, but a far cry from the hundreds of millions her team had requested. The harshest blow to Mills may have been the judge's opinion of her statements in court: "I am driven to the conclusion that much of her evidence, both written and oral, was not just inconsistent and inaccurate but also less than candid."
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