Family Law Blog

The “Oscar Curse”: Hollywood myth or unfortunate reality?

Posted by on 9 Jun 2011

We have all heard of the so-called “Oscar Curse” in which successful actresses reach the top of their game and win an Oscar, only to announce the end of their marriage or long-term relationship shortly afterwards. The recent experiences of Sandra Bullock, Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon and Halle Berry seem to confirm the notion that a highly paid, critically acclaimed and successful actress will end up ‘unlucky in love’.

In Australia, we have seen the recent demise of Delta Goodrem and Brian McFadden’s relationship (just as Delta’s ‘star’ was rising in the US), the rumours of trouble in Danni Minogue and Kris Smith’s relationship, and the end of other high-profile relationships with the demands of time spent apart, distance and hectic career schedules publicly blamed.

The Sun Herald in Sydney recently reported on the phenomenon, quoting studies out of Cornell University and Carnegie Mellon University in the US that support the idea that relationships are more likely to end when the female is more successful and earns more money than the male. Whether famous actresses or successful businesswomen, there were plenty of sources in the Sun Herald article ready to confirm the theory that men will often feel threatened and intimidated by highly successful women.

So is it true? Whilst there will never be a definitive answer and it would certainly be wrong to generalise and assume that all men feel this way, the fact is that successful career women need to be aware of the potential issues and protect their relationship and personal affairs as much as possible.

With up to one in three marriages ending in divorce today, any circumstances that can increase the likelihood of conflict or tension within a relationship should be acknowledged.

When entering into any relationship, particularly when there are significant personal assets at stake, financial agreements and pre-nuptial arrangements can help to reduce stress and conflict later in the relationship. Counseling can also provide help in identifying issues and developing strategies to deal with them.

At Coleman Greig, our experienced family lawyers can offer confidential advice with regard to protecting your assets, and discussing the options available to you, as well as assistance in locating counselors and other professionals if required. Importantly, our experienced team can also assist with:

  • the preparation of a “pre-nup”, or a Binding Financial Agreement, aimed at protecting your assets in the event of a family breakdown
  • provide you with the necessary advice as to the pros and cons of such agreements
  • give careful consideration to the particular facts of your circumstance in order to prepare a proper agreement.

If you would like more information, click here to view our plain Plain English Guide to Pre Nuptial and Pre Relationship Financial Agreements.

Coleman Greig has also established Western Sydney’s most successful networking forum for women in business - take a look at the types of events you can attend and be inspired by other successful business women - Coleman Greig Women in Business Forum