Attorneys for both Kobe and Vanessa Bryant say that the properties are just the beginning of a settlement deal. Kobe Bryant is estimated to be worth about $150 million, and the couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married in 2001. Often in a divorce, one spouse may have a strong preference for keeping the primary home, and this can be complicated for couples with multiple homes or investment or business properties.

In addition to the three homes worth an estimated $18.8 million, reports indicate that Vanessa could receive up to $75 million in spousal and child support. They have two children together and documents suggest that they will be establishing joint custody.

The couple seems to be making a conscious effort to keep the details of the end of the marriage and the divorce out of the public eye, citing irreconcilable difference on the divorce petition.

Although the settlement amount may seem high, it’s worth noting that many states, including Texas, consider property accumulated during the marriage to be community property. This means that prior to a divorce, the property is held jointly and indivisibly. For people who are planning to file for divorce, these issues can be complex and property ownership may be difficult to trace.

High net worth individuals (like the Bryants) may have additional considerations to take in to account when planning a divorce, such as investment accounts, properties, and tax implications of divorce. Lingering debts and anticipated expenses also impact the bigger picture of dividing assets. Consulting an attorney with experience in these types of cases may help couples to preserve assets more effectively.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Kobe Bryant divorce: Three homes to Vanessa probably just a start,” Jan. 23, 2012.