Lawyer Explains Miley Cyrus And Liam Hemsworth's Divorce

When Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth got married in 2018, many fans were surprised by their unexpected nuptials. However, the public was perhaps even more shocked when the duo revealed that they had split up after less than a year of marriage. While there were obviously issues that led to the end of their relationship, Rebecca Zung, Esq., divorce lawyer and partner at Long, Murphy & Zung, gave Nicki Swift some exclusive insight into what went down during the celebrity couple's divorce — a process that might have been quicker than most even realized.

Cyrus and Hemsworth's marriage only lasted eight months and, in the end, their divorce proceedings took "four months from beginning to end," according to Zung. Our expert noted that "while four months is actually a relatively short duration for a divorce to be pending, oftentimes when there is a prenuptial in place, and nobody is contesting it, the divorce can be done within weeks."

Zung also explained that there "could be any number of reasons" why the stars' legal split took months to complete, suggesting that maybe "one party was holding out for more based upon a threat to contest the prenuptial agreement." That surely leaves you wondering if Cyrus and Hemsworth had a prenup in the first place. Read on to find out and to also discover what else these A-listers had to deal with during their divorce!

Did Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth have a prenup?

Having a prenuptial agreement in place before getting married often helps pave the way for (relatively) straightforward divorce proceedings. Rebecca Zung, Esq., told Nicki Swift that Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth "did have a prenuptial agreement, but apparently had bitter arguments about this." What was the problem? Well, Cyrus (who has a lot of money) wanted one, while Hemsworth (who isn't as rich) "was deeply offended and didn't find it romantic, telling her that he would never take any of her money."

Romantic or not, Zung told us: "As a divorce attorney, I would have definitely advised both parties to get the prenuptial agreement put into place." The divorce expert said that, "while couples can keep assets separate, earnings during the marriage are generally going to be considered marital or community property." Because of that, "the only way to protect earnings during the marriage is through a prenuptial agreement."

If you're wondering what was on the line, Zung noted that, although "their marriage was super short, their incomes were still pretty hefty during that time." Apparently, Cyrus brought in more than $170 million, while Hemsworth earned a "paltry" $30 million, per Metro. "In the end, their settlement provided that neither of them had to pay one penny to the other ... and both parties kept his or her own assets," Zung explained. However, money issues weren't the only thing that these two had to work out during the divorce.

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth had to address custody of their pets

While money was obviously a concern when it came to Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's divorce, the former couple amassed more than financial wealth during their relationship — they also had a lot of animals together. At the time of the split, the stars had a "menagerie of pets," which included seven dogs, three cats, two horses, two mini horses, and a pig, according to TMZ. Divorce lawyer Rebecca Zung, Esq., told Nicki Swift that "in most states, animals are simply considered personal property," which means that they're "no different than furniture in the eyes of the law." However, "in select states, courts are starting to implement 'custody' types of arrangements for our beloved, furry friends."

Although "it could have taken several months" to work out the details "because they were arguing over who got to take custody of the animals" or might have been "clashing over the actual language that would be included in the marital settlement agreement," Zung revealed that, once the dust was settled, Cyrus was awarded custody of the animals, while TMZ reported that Hemsworth wasn't going to "contest animal custody ... Miley gets the critters." But, again, that wasn't the only issue they faced during their split. There was also the fact that the divorce became both very pubic and very private.

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth should have stayed off of social media

When Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's marriage ended, they didn't exactly take to social media to immediately trash each other, but they didn't keep things off the internet either. In fact, Hemsworth "learned about [the] split ... on social media," per Page Six. Indeed, just "[h]ours after Cyrus' statement" addressing her separation from her then-husband, "images of her smooching new girlfriend Kaitlynn Carter surfaced. The singer then seemed to address the split in a cryptic Instagram caption saying, 'Don't fight evolution, because you will never win.'"

This wasn't a great move, according to divorce lawyer Rebecca Zung, Esq. The expert told Nicki Swift: "As a divorce attorney, I would have advised both of them to lay off social media — I always say that every text, every email, every social media post — is a potential trial exhibit."

Zung said that she "would have ... advised [Cyrus] to stay out of the glare of the press with this new person." That's because, although "California is a 'no-fault' state" when it comes to divorces, "there is a myth out there that says that no-fault means fault never matters." That's apparently untrue. "Judges are people under their robes, and they more often than not, draw conclusions about who the 'good' spouse is and who the 'bad' spouse is," Zung explained. That could have played against Cyrus due to her social media activity. Perhaps that's why the divorce proceedings moved behind closed doors.

This 'was the best thing' for Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth

Although Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's split began to play out in full view of the public due to social media, they apparently decided to change tactics and handled their divorce privately, working through their divorce out of court. And according to Rebecca Zung, Esq., divorce lawyer and partner at Long, Murphy & Zung, "getting this case settled behind closed doors was the best thing for them."

"Getting divorced is traumatizing no matter who you are, and regardless of whether you were the one who wanted it or not," Zung noted. "But getting divorced while the world is watching, creates an excruciating added layer of pressure." Zung added that "anytime parties can settle a case out of court it is better," because "it is less costly and more private, and also allows the parties to have more latitude in what they want to agree to."

Zung points out that the pair "may have mediated the case, or perhaps they just met privately with their lawyers and hashed out the agreement." However, once everything was worked out, the "case [was] over" and both Cyrus and Hemsworth were "able to move on with their lives and chalk it up as a lesson learned." Our divorce expert says that "hopefully age, experience, and maturity will give them the wisdom they need when the idea of marriage presents itself to them again in the future!"