Pop singer Adele took her time in confirming that she was married to her financier husband. The pair waited five years after they started dating to announce that they were married. Now, the couple appears to be on the verge of divorce, and Adele faces the loss of many millions of dollars because she and her husband apparently did not sign a prenuptial agreement. No divorce proceedings have commenced, but observers of celebrity marriages are already talking about the amount of money that Adele will be required to pay to Konecki if the high asset divorce is filed in California.

Since California is a community property state, the money earned by the couple during their marriage must be divided equally. The exact numbers have not been disclosed, but one magazine has estimated Adele’s net worth to be about $182 million. Much of this wealth was earned during the couple’s marriage. One source estimated that Adele’s net worth increased by $100 million in 2017 and 2018. Her husband is not exactly penniless; he was a successful financier at Lehman Brothers before he married Adele.

If, as rumored, the couple did not execute a prenuptial agreement before they married, Adele could wind up owing her husband several tens of millions of dollars. She will be required to pay him approximately one-half of the increase in her net worth noted above. Adele also owns a number of parcels of real estate in the United States and the United Kingdom, and he may be entitled to a share of the value of these properties depending upon their dates of acquisition.

This case provides an extreme example of the hazards of not executing a prenuptial agreement. Such an agreement could have specified how much Adele would be obligated to pay her spouse in the event of a divorce, thereby saving her millions of dollars. Every high asset couple that is contemplating marriage should seek advice regarding a prenuptial agreement from an experienced divorce attorney to avoid the trap into which Adele may be falling.