Paul McCartney’s Costly Divorce

Paul McCartney’s romantic gesture of forgoing a prenuptial agreement before marrying model Heather Mills could cost him “$1.9 million for every week of their short-lived four-year marriage.”

This gives “Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be” a whole new meaning.

It also reminds me of the famous lament of the late, great Lewis Grizzard that, instead of getting married again, he’d just find a woman he hates and buy her a house.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Popular Culture,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I’m sure Sir Paul has enough money left over to squeeze by.

    “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

    “Two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each otherâ??s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets…. The rich and the poor.” — Benjamin Disraeli

    (Both quotes via

  2. ken says:

    James, you are married, but without children yet?

    Someday you may understand that providing up to 25% of your wealth to provide for the mother of one of your children is not ‘costly’, it is a demonstration of your commitment to be a father and love of your child.

    Besides, he will still be left with over a billion dollars himself. How is that a sacrifice?

    It never ceases to amaze me how conservatives are so hostile to family values, large and small, that are supported by family law.

  3. James Joyner says:


    Of course, if McCartney were not a billionaire, the amount he would owe would be smaller. And, if he had a prenup that agreed to, say, $1 million per year of marriage plus, say $10,000 a month in support of each child, I suspect the courts would approve.

    It seems to me that a reasonable solution is to divide equally assets earned during the marriage plus child support. Unfortunately, there is no way to separate child support — presuming they’ve agreed she is to have primary custody — from support of the former spouse. Putting the child up in a mansion means the ex lives in a mansion.

  4. Boyd says:

    Ken, did it happen to occur to you that James may be addressing fairness between the spouses, and not thinking about the McCartney’s kids? While I’d agree that could be an oversight, it’s not an unreasonable perspective.

    But of course, one should never pass up the opportunity to slander conservatives as a group.

  5. Steven Plunk says:

    It is commonly accepted that in a divorce it is fair that one spouse is entitled to half the assets earned during the marriage. Why is that? If one spouse works and the other doesn’t, why? If one spouse makes great money and the other makes minimum wage why split down the middle?

    I would advocate a more detailed look into the contributions by each spouse and a equitable settlement based upon that. Certainly not based upon the lifestyle they have grown accustomed to or just an even split of the goods.

    The McCartney split is just an extreme example of how men in the western world are getting screwed every day by courts injecting themselves into civil disagreements and then using standard, one size fits all formulas to resolve the dispute.

    The idea is to make one whole again not enrich anyone.

  6. Brian says:

    Steven-I fail to see how McCartney got screwed here. Presumably, he knew divorce was a possibility when they got married. If he didn’t want to give up half of his assets in a divorce, he should have made her sign a prenup. It was his mistake and he will pay for it.

  7. Grazia says:

    Poor old Macca, everybody’s concerned about his money -even himself! Nobody cares about the fact that he’ll be turning 64 all by himself and without a wife to send him valentines and go to the Isle of Wight with… may I volunteer?

    He’ll just have to scrimp and save..

  8. Matty Midura says:

    I heard that! ‘Sir Paul’s Divorce’

    It’s kind of ironic really, thinking about McCartney’s divorce. I just was finishing up on quotes about political & sporting events – past & present! I was drawing a comparison – so to speak – between Barbaro and Heather Mills actually. You know of the latter (Mills) of course, but Barbaro was the horse that won the Kentucky Derby – then broke a leg – in the next race! With me so far? Actually, I was questioning the horse owner’s true motive, for such an expensive operation. To be rather concise; “the leg could have been amputated..” Horses can walk on just 3 legs really. “there is one 3 miles from where I am,..” in New Jersey!

    In closing. I won’t print here, what I wrote – it’s not my forum here – you’ll have to view it where I have editorial privilege! In simple terms: it’s not very flattering to Heather Mills.. When I wrote, and what I implied & suggested – was with indifference to the divorce, and choosing sides. See it here at now!!!

    Here is another fun site below too!