Important Lessons from Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello’s Divorce

Important Lessons from Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello’s DivorceWhen we decide to get married, the idea is forever. We are raised with the notion that marriage is the biggest decision a person makes, and once they make it, they live happily ever after unless something goes terribly, terribly wrong. For many people, this is true! Marriage — and love in general — is a beautiful thing in which a lot of folks find a lifetime of solace, but real life isn’t nearly as clear-cut as the fairytales.

Therefore, taking certain steps to protect yourself financially before marriage isn’t a “bad omen” or an insult to your partner and your relationship, it’s just the responsible thing to do when you don’t know the future. No one has to be in the wrong, but those of us with a considerable amount of assets need to be proactive in keeping it safe — ideally with an experienced divorce attorney helping you every step of the way.

Actress Sofia Vergara and her now-ex-husband, actor Joe Manganiello, are experiencing why this matters so much in real time. While we may not all be celebrities, there are still important lessons we can take away from their situation when it comes to high-asset divorce.

Opposites attract, but not always forever — and that’s okay

Just because two people intend to spend forever together does not mean it always happens. While this can be a one-sided, explosion of an event, sometimes things just don’t work out and no one is necessarily to blame. People grow and change. Forever is a very long time, even with the very best of intentions.

When it comes to Sofia and Joe, their breakup was in the public spotlight, so a large number of people could comment and speculate what caused it, and most assumed it was some secret, horrific scandal that had driven a wedge between two true lovers. The truth, however, is simple: their chemistry was more physical than emotional, and they had been growing apart for some time. No one cheated, no one fought to an abusive degree. They simply grew apart.

Originally, they had indeed been two very different people with passionate sparks between them, but relationships often need more than that. So, they ended things. It’s important to understand that sometimes this just happens and you don’t need to wait until things are unhealthy to get out. This kind of divorce is called a “no-fault” divorce and, here in Maryland, it is only one of the ways a divorce can happen since the new law went into effect on October 1, 2023. Talking to an attorney can help you decide which grounds to file under.

In fact, for those couples who still get along just fine but want to end the marriage, collaborative divorce exists to provide an extra layer of privacy, cooperation, and ease. The more you two agree on, the easier the separation.

Prenups are essential when you have real money

It’s no secret that Sofia Vergara has a very healthy amount of money and assets to her name. While Joe Manganiello is certainly not impoverished, he doesn’t make nearly as much as her. That’s why it’s no wonder Sofia made sure they signed a prenuptial agreement before getting married — and if you make more than your soon-to-be spouse, so should you. Because of that agreement, she gets to keep everything that’s hers, and Joe gets to keep everything that’s his, even if it was accumulated during the marriage.

Prenuptial agreements are contracts you sign with your betrothed to mutually decide on provisions for things like inheritance division, individual responsibility, and property ownership. It’s not a matter of “assuming” you will get a divorce, but rather protecting yourself just in case. If you didn’t sign a prenuptial and you’re now married but anticipating divorce, you can even talk to a Bethesda divorce attorney about a postnuptial agreement which covers much of the same, and can help smooth the separation process.

Without these provisions, you could be stuck paying your ex thousands in alimony for years and years after your divorce after exhausting hearings fighting over how the property and asset division should take place and who owes who what.

Even embryos can be fought over in court

Years ago, Sofia had to fight an ex in court after the ex tried suing for custody of frozen embryos the couple had created prior to the breakup (notably, they were never married). She was able to win the case with an attorney of her own, but it goes to show even embryos can lead to a custody battle. If you are even thinking of planning a family with your significant other, make sure you have a skilled family law attorney on retainer to protect you and your future children. If you are already married and looking to divorce with minor children, that attorney can help you with the custody battle alongside every other aspect of the proceedings.

Every divorce is different, but all can benefit from competent legal guidance

Of course, not every divorce is an amicable end. It is an uprooting and separation of two lives, and with that can come a lot of tension, sour emotions, exhaustion, and pain. While amicable, cooperative divorces are always going to be easiest by nature, high-conflict divorces still exist and your divorce attorney can still help. Whether your ex is just fighting you on everything or refusing to participate at all, there is legal help available to you. Even those trying to escape an abuser, someone who not only refuses to participate but refuses to let go at all, can seek legal backup without fear.

We can’t all be Sofia Vergara, but we can still learn from her experiences. Throughout all the lessons, one constant remains: an attorney from McCabe Russell, PA can help. Our experienced family law and divorce attorneys in Bethesda know the ins and outs of the law and how to use that knowledge to protect your rights, your assets, and your children. Even if you haven’t officially filed for divorce yet, an attorney can help you start planning as soon as you decide you want one, so you don’t have to take any chances with missing an opportunity or mistake.

The Bethesda family law and divorce attorneys at McCabe Russell, PA are a dedicated, experienced, tenacious team of legal professionals on standby to help people in Montgomery and Howard Counties with their divorces and/or custody agreements. We have offices in Fulton, Bethesda, Columbia, and Rockville for your convenience and we’re always available by phone or via our contact form. No matter what your situation is, we are here to answer your questions and help in any — and every — way we can.