After announcing their decision to divorce this past July, actors Jennifer Grey and Clark Gregg’s divorce settlement recently became public – and notable. Grey, who famously played Baby in the iconic 1987 film Dirty Dancing, will retain 100 percent of her earnings and residuals from the movie, including those from its sequel, Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights.
According to People magazine, Grey will also receive an equal cut of Gregg’s royalties and residuals for his work in Avengers, Captain Marvel, Captain America, and the Iron Man and Thor films, as well as a small percentage of earnings for any future work if he reprises his role as Agent Coulson in the Marvel universe or elsewhere.
If the two decide to sell the family home, the proceeds will be divided equally between Gregg and Grey. He will pay Grey $15,144 as an equalization payment but will waive spousal maintenance from his ex-wife. The two will split expenses related to raising their daughter Stella until she reaches the age of twenty-four.
Property division changes from state to state
Grey and Gregg’s divorce settlement underscores how property division laws can vary widely from state to state. In California, where the couple’s divorce will become final in February 2021, the courts handle property division under the theory of “community property.” This means that everything accumulated during a marriage is joint property and, in California, must be divided 50/50 between the spouses. Grey’s Dirty Dancing income was earned before she and Gregg were married in 2001, or the two may have had a prenuptial agreement in place regarding her residuals and earnings.
Here in New York, property division during a divorce doesn’t work the same way. New York divorce courts operate under the theory of equitable distribution, which means marital property must be distributed equitably and fairly between the spouses. However, equitably does not always mean 50/50. Instead, the court takes a variety of factors into consideration, including the financial circumstances of each spouse.
It is also worth noting that in all states, however, distribution of property applies only to marital property. Separate property is not subject to equitable division.
The Manhattan divorce attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP can work with you to determine marital versus separate property, as well as help ensure you maintain ownership of your most important and valuable assets. We provide thorough, detailed, and confidential services. To schedule a consultation with an experienced lawyer, please call us at (212) 466-6015, or reach out to us through our contact form today. We maintain offices on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, in Westchester, and in Bergen County, NJ.