You don’t have to look very far to find strange divorce provisions in this country. Morality clauses are still inserted into divorce settlements in Texas, such as prohibiting the divorced ex from receiving overnight guests. Other unusual clauses often find their way into final court documents — maybe you even have one in your own final order. But the odds are, however curious the terms of your divorce might be, there are a few out there even more bizarre.
Here, My Dear
Marvin Gaye’s first wife, Anna Gordy Gaye, was the sister of Motown mogul Berry Gordy, so she should have known better. Some 14 years into the marriage, Marvin fell in love with a woman 34 years younger than Anna. At the same time, he squandered his fortune. The divorce court ordered him to record an album and turn all of its profits over to Anna as a divorce settlement. He complied, and the resulting album, “Here, My Dear,” was divorce-themed — it has been called the musical equivalent of Ingmar Bergman’s film, “Scenes from a Marriage.” The album was not wildly popular with audiences; it earned the least amount of money of any of the albums Marvin Gaye completed in the 1970s.
A Truly Nobel Divorce Provision
The phone rang, and University of Chicago professor Robert E. Lucas Jr. answered it. It was every economist’s dream: a call from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences advising Lucas that he had won the Nobel Prize for economics. The accolades were valuable, but so was the $1 million in prize money. However, that might not have been such pleasant news for Lucas. Seven years earlier, he divorced his then-wife Rita C. Lucas, who was smart enough to put a clause into the divorce agreement entitling her to 50 percent of any Nobel Prize money he might win in the future.
You may never have heard of Andrew Silverman, but when his wife Lauren left him for reality television judge Simon Cowell, their divorce was pretty ugly. Even Cowell got dragged into the fray, sued by Silverman for impregnating Lauren. The ultimate settlement contained some very unusual provisions: Lauren contracted to keep the couple’s 7-year-old son away from Simon Cowell. She also agreed to pay a penalty of $50,000 for each breach of that provision and, if she violated it more than three times, she would automatically lose the right to have contact with her son. The divorce settlement also required guarantees that the boy never calls anyone other than Andrew “father.”
Blowing in the Wind
All spouses have their priorities when it comes to what property they want to carry away from a marriage, and who can argue with those of Dan Auerbach’s ex-wife, Stephanie Gonis? The Black Keys front-man had picked up — somewhere along the way — an unusual relic: a lock of the hair of iconic folksinger, Bob Dylan. Stephanie Gonis was awarded that hair in the divorce, along with about $5 million and one of the couple’s homes.