Actress Hilary Duff married NHL hockey player Mike Comrie earlier this month in Santa Barbara, California. The couple had been dating since 2007 and engaged since this February. But before the big day, the couple reportedly signed a prenuptial agreement to protect both their assets.
Duff is reportedly worth about $25 million from her work in pop music, movies and Disney’s Lizzie McGuire television series, as well as from tween-targeted fashion and makeup lines. Her new husband Comrie has made between $1 – 3 million a year in the nine years he has been playing in the NHL.
The real money involved in this relationship though belongs to Comrie’s family. Comrie is heir to a portion of an enormous Canadian fortune.
Comrie’s father, Bill, along with his two brothers, founded furniture and appliance retailer The Brick in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada alre almost 40 years ago. The Brick is now one of Canada’s largest volume retailers of furniture, mattresses, appliances and home electronics. Bill Comrie’s net worth has been estimated to be as high as $500 million.
It is likely that Comrie enjoys some of his family’s money already, probably through a trust fund. During their courtship, Comrie surprised Duff with a $100,000 Mercedes G-class SUV for her 20th birhday. Her engagement ring is worth a reported $1 million. The wedding reportedly cost well over half a million dollars. (They did reportedly sell wedding photos to OK! magazine for about $1 million though.)
I would venture a guess that Comrie’s father required the prenuptial agreement in order to protect the family business (and any current or future interest Mike Comrie may have in that business) in the event of a divorce between Mike Comrie and Hilary Duff.
In a community property state like California, all marital property would be divided equally between the spouses in a divorce. Thus, if Comrie inherited or was given ownership interest in The Brick during their marriage, Duff would potentially be able to claim half of it (or other property of equal value) in a divorce – which could potentially jeopardize the Comries’ control of the company. A well-drafted prenup would ensure that Mike Comrie’s current or future interest in The Brick would remain outside of the reach of any divorce court.