In the aftermath of a bitter and expensive divorce and child custody battle, actress Kelly Rutherford has made the decision to file for bankruptcy relief. The announcement of the move toward Chapter 7 bankruptcy has led to headline in Florida and across the nation, and reminded many of the very public divorce between Rutherford and her German husband. The actress is believed to have spent approximately $2 million on legal fees during the divorce and custody proceedings.
In filing for Chapter 7, Rutherford listed assets including around $12,000 in a checking account and $1,500 in jewelry. This is in addition to $10,000 in furniture and clothing. In regard to liabilities, Rutherford claims debts including legal fees, $35,000 in tax debt and another $25,000 in credit card debt.
While Rutherford once earned $486,000 per month for her role on the hit television show ‘Gossip Girl,’ she now earns just $1,300. Because her children reside in Monaco with their father, she also incurs substantial expenses associated with frequent travel. There is no word on whether the actress has any new projects lined up, or whether she intends to continue her acting career.
While this story centers on a well-known celebrity with a once-impressive income, anyone who has gone through a difficult divorce and/or custody battle is well aware of the costs of lengthy litigation. Many people who earn far less than Rutherford have fallen into financial ruin as a result of family law struggles. For those who emerge from a Florida divorce with no ability to make ends meet, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help by eliminating many forms of unsecured debt and giving the filer a chance to get back on their feet.
Source: New York Daily News, “Kelly Rutherford files bankruptcy after costly divorce, custody battle,” Zayda Rivera, June 24, 2013