Note: Neither Randy Kessler or Miles Mason, Sr. have any relationship with Gisele Bündchen, Tom Brady, or their respective attorneys. Comments are merely speculation, based on decades of family law experience to give viewers a glimpse of what really happens behind the scenes of high-profile divorces. Family law attorneys Randy Kessler and Miles Mason, Sr. discuss professional athlete and celebrity divorces behind the scenes. What’s different in celebrity, high-profile, and pro-athlete divorces? For media comment, see Randy Kessler’s media kit and Miles Mason’s media page. View the YouTube playlist:
View our videos, Tom Brady and Gisele B?ndchen Divorce: Behind the Scenes
Background and reference. See Mason’s commentary below.
B?ndchen v. Brady – Divorce Filed, Done, and Ordered
On Friday, October 28, Gisele Caroline B?ndchen filed for divorce in Florida on grounds the marriage is “irretrievably broken and cannot be restored.” As reported by TMZ.
A few days earlier, on October 25, Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr., and B?ndchen entered into a comprehensive Marital Settlement Agreement that incorporated a Parenting Plan for their two minor children.
However, the Marital Settlement Agreement and Parenting Plan were not filed with the court, keeping the terms confidential and sealed. Instead, the parties and their respective attorneys “shall be the custodians of the Marital Settlement Agreement and Parenting Plan.”
The parties also waived financial discovery and did not file any financial disclosures with the court. This is because the “Court has not been called upon to award any permanent financial relief” to either party.
With all issues between the parties resolved, the judge assigned to the case waived the 20-day waiting period as B?ndchen requested and signed the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage later the same day. “Done and ordered at … Florida on the 28th day of Oct., 2022.”
Tom Brady and Gisele B?ndchen Separate & Now Have Lawyers
As of late September, 2022, Celebrities Tom Brady and Gisele B?ndchen are reportedly struggling with marital problems and have been living separately. Divorce is possible. Both are now in their forties, but is this more than mid-life crisis?
As of Oct. 6, 2022, the spouses remain separated. Once Brady’s biggest supporter, B?ndchen has not appeared at any Buccaneers games thus far. Reportedly, family law attorneys have been retained with each now represented by counsel (first B?ndchen, then Brady). Divorce proceedings are likely to be filed in the State of Florida where the parties reside. A modest estimate of their real estate holdings is $26 million.
On “Let’s Go!” Brady and Kevin Durant commiserated over the difficulty of work-life balance during the season. Durant (Brooklyn Nets) said the NBA season puts him in a social “hibernation mode.” Agreeing, Brady said he sometimes looks at “football season like you’re going away on deployment in the military.” For players, the season is all consuming. This supports B?ndchen’s role as primary caregiver of the couple’s two children, especially during football season. Fox News 10/18/2022.
Brady’s Work-Life Imbalance Causing Fractures
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on the NFL fining Brady $11,139 for kicking Defensive Lineman Grady Jarrett on the same play in which the DL was penalized for unnecessary roughness (10/9/2022 game.) CBS Boston 10/14/2022.
Before Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (Oct. 16), Brady was spotted without his wedding ring. Page Six 10/17/2022.
Brady was caught hollering at his offensive line during the Fox live broadcast of the game, “You’re so much better than the way you’re f***ing playing.” Tampa Bay lost to Pittsburgh. The U.S. Sun 10/17/2022.
The Anchorage Daily News reported that Brady missed Saturday’s walk-through and team meetings before the 10/16/2022 game:
[O]n Sunday, [Tom] Brady and [Aaron] Rodgers looked old, creaky and cranky. And their teams … resembled NFC also-rans more than championship contenders, suffering losses to leave them with identical 3-3 records. Reported 10/16/2022.
Alone and without B?ndchen, Brady attended the wedding of billionaire New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Dr. Dana Blumberg at the Hall des Lumiéres in Tribeca. Page Six 10/14/2022.
B?ndchen Keeping a Low Profile
A woman with millions of social media followers, B?ndchen broke her silence and responded to Jay Shetty’s Instagram post in which he quoted himself from his new book 8 Rules of Love: “You can’t be in a committed relationship with someone who is inconsistent with you. Read that again.” Her comment? No words, just praying hands emoji. Fox News 10/12/2022.
B?ndchen is believed to have hired a Florida divorce attorney in Miami. Page Six 10/7/2022.
In early October, she was seen without her wedding ring. Fox News 10/5/2022.
B?ndchen also sports a revised ankle tattoo. Although her original tattoo pre-dated Brady, there is likely some personal meaning to the new version which “seems to resemble more of a tree-like figure.” Page Six 10/8/2022.
Both are social media mega-influencers. Brady has 2.8M Twitter followers, 5M Facebook followers, and 12.7M Instagram followers. Not to be outdone, B?ndchen has 4.6M Twitter followers, 6.2M facebook followers, and 19.8M Instagram followers.
Tom Brady – NFL Champion Quarterback
Forty-five-year-old professional athlete Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr. is an NFL quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2020-present). He played his first 20 seasons with the New England Patriots. By any standard, Brady’s NFL career statistics and records are fantastic. He is a seven-time Super Bowl Champion with an estimated separate net worth of $250 million. As Greg Auman noted, this includes Brady’s $30 million salary in a restructured 2022 contract.
In a recent Let’s Go podcast, Brady confessed to a reputation for taking his frustrations out on his mobile device, jokingly working toward “the perfect tablet slam.” To an experienced divorce attorney, a seemingly innocuous comment of this nature could be an admission against interest in a trial or be used to diffuse a domestic violence claim by caging the behavior as simply part of the game. (The NFL can sanction players for domestic violence.)
Retires then Un-Retires from the NFL
On February 1, 2022, Brady announced his retirement from the NFL. Two months later he un-retired announcing his 23rd season. Sticking with Tampa Bay, Brady said, “These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands.” He’ll retire someday, “But it’s not now,” he said. “I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible.” The news was not well-received by B?ndchen.
Line in the Sand
If his 11-day August absence from training camp is any indication, Brady’s supportive wife has not come around to his way of thinking. Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said Brady had “something he needed to handle” and took the time for “some personal things.” About his 11-day break, Brady said, “It’s all personal … everyone’s got different situations they’re dealing with. We all have really unique challenges to our life. I’m 45 years old, man. There’s a lot of s**t going on.”
About Brady’s un-retirement, “Obviously, I have my concerns – this is a very violent sport,” said B?ndchen in an interview with Elle Magazine (9/13/2022). “[M]y children and I would like him to be more present,” she continued. “I have definitely had those conversations with him over and over again. But ultimately, I feel that everybody has to make a decision that works for [them]. He needs to follow his joy, too.”
Reportedly, the spouses continued arguing over Brady’s un-retirement decision with B?ndchen leaving the country for a while. She spent time in Costa Rica, then returned to Florida without reconciling with Brady. By mid-September, they were said to be living separately and to have lived apart for over 30 days.
Undercurrent of Work/Life Imbalance
With Howard Stern in 2020, Brady talked about Bündchen’s position on his work/life imbalance. She “didn’t feel like I was doing my part for the family,” said Brady. “She felt like I would play football all season and she would take care of the house.” That “[s]he wasn’t satisfied with our marriage. So, I needed to make a change in that. Her point was, ‘Well, yeah, of course this works for you. It all works for you. But it doesn’t work for me.’”
B?ndchen told Vogue in May 2022, “I don’t think relationships just happen; it’s never the fairy tale people want to believe it is. It takes work to be really in sync with someone, especially after you have kids.” Establishing herself as the primary caregiver, she continued, “[h]is focus is on his career, mine is mostly on the kids. And I’m very grateful that he lets me take the reins when it comes to our family. He trusts my decisions.”
After reflecting on life, work, and NFL retirement, Brady told the Boston Globe (9/13/2022):
[T]he ability to play and love what I’m doing in year 23 … it’s really fun for me. I feel it out there. I feel the joy. I feel the happiness, the camaraderie. … You wrestle with different things as you get older. I’d say the only thing that changed over time is you have different priorities when you get older. When I was 25, there was the simplicity of a 25-year-old life. … [W]hen you’re 45 you have other commitments and obligations that are very important to you, namely children that are growing up.
I haven’t had a Christmas in 23 years. I haven’t had a Thanksgiving in 23 years. I haven’t celebrated birthdays with people that I care about that are born from August to late January. I’m not able to be at funerals and I’m not able to be at weddings. I think there comes a point in your life, where you say you know what I’ve had my fill it’s enough and it’s time to go on into other parts of life.
Gisele B?ndchen – International Supermodel
Forty-two-year-old Brazilian supermodel, philanthropist, environmentalist, UN Goodwill Ambassador, and occasional actress Gisele Caroline B?ndchen was born in rural Horizontina, State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Her estimated separate net worth is $400 million.
During the marriage, B?ndchen pulled back on a lucrative career to be a mom and raise her young children. She limited herself to a few modeling projects per year. B?ndchen told Elle she was, “so grateful to have been there in those moments that were really shaping who they are as people.” But things are different now. B?ndchen is gearing up her career again. “I feel very fulfilled, as a mother and as a wife. And now it’s going to be my turn.” She’s back to being busy with travel and work.
B?ndchen’s Relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio
B?ndchen dated superstar Leonardo DiCaprio from 2000-2005, sharing a common interest in environmental activism. Five films starring DiCaprio were released in the five years they dated: The Beach, Don’s Plum, Catch Me If You Can, Gangs of New York, and The Aviator. The 42-year-old B?ndchen talked about DiCaprio, “He’s done a lot for the environment, and I admire what he’s done. We know what we had; we were very young … And we grew together in a lot of ways. We were just not meant to be boyfriend and girlfriend, but I respect him enormously, and I wish him nothing but the best.”
B?ndchen and Brady met through a mutual friend in December 2006. Their connection was immediate. B?ndchen told Vanity Fair (2009), “I knew right away — the first time I saw him. … From the first day we met, we’ve never spent one day without speaking to each other.”
Brady and B?ndchen were married February 26, 2009, at Santa Monica Catholic Church in California. The small, private ceremony was attended by about 20 family members and friends. In a similarly private ceremony six weeks later, they married again at her Costa Rica home in Santa Teresa (Mal Pais). February 2022 marked the couples’ 13th wedding anniversary. They have two minor children, Benjamin and Vivian, together. Brady also has a child from a previous relationship.
Brady’s Relationship with Bridget Moynahan
From 2004 – 2006, Brady dated actress Bridget Moynahan. The two are co-parenting their son John. In 2019, Moynahan told People Magazine, “Tom and I made a decision to raise a child together and we both found partners that not only supported us in raising that child, but also loved our child as if he was their own. I don’t think you can ask for more than that. My son is surrounded by love.”
Mason’s Comments on Tom Brady and Gisele B?ndchen Divorce: Behind the Scenes
Initiator: From their public comments, one can speculate that Gisele B?ndchen initiated the divorce. Tom exiting pre-season for eleven days suggests he was responding to a “come-to-Jesus ultimatum” just as many non-celebrity spouses may have to face. For more discussion, see Tom Brady and Gisele B?ndchen Divorce: How Celebrities Pick Divorce Lawyers.
Filing for Divorce: Since the divorce has not been filed, Tom Brady and Gisele B?ndchen likely have already hired divorce lawyers in the Tampa Bay area. We don’t know who they are. The divorce settlement agreement is probably currently being negotiated and drafted. Ultimately, privacy concerns will dictate what information will be made public. For more discussion, see Tom Brady and Gisele B?ndchen Divorce: Settling Before Filing Divorce?
Grounds for Divorce: It is unlikely that either will file or seek to prove grounds for divorce. Regardless of state law, if Tom Brady and Gisele B?ndchen agree on all divorce terms, there will unlikely be any meaningful need to assert or prove grounds for divorce.
Property Division: One would assume there is a prenuptial agreement controlling property division. To the extent the parties agreed to accumulate any marital or joint property, one would imagine that asset division will be equal. In a prenuptial agreement, they could have agreed that all earnings of a spouse remain that spouse’s separate property. One could also assume all premarital property is protected from becoming marital or joint property subject to division in divorce. There are likely a number of trusts and shell companies protecting privacy yet allowing for control. The most interesting aspect of this could be intellectual property rights created during the marriage. Royalties from books and ad campaigns? Copyrights? Residual ad revenue from social media? Images? Long-term contracts with corporate sponsorships? Most would assume all such formal and written contracts were enacted within the friendly confines of legal entities created prior to the marriage. If something was forgotten or handled during the marriage as marital property, those intellectual property rights may need to be valued just to process the divorce paperwork. Corporate attorneys can get very picky about dotting i’s and crossing t’s when it comes to defending assets to such claims. For more discussion, see Tom Brady and Gisele B?ndchen Divorce: What’s in the Pre-Nuptial Agreement?
Child Custody: Likely a parenting coordinator will be required to help organize and prevent conflicts. What if Gisele wants to fly to Paris and take the children with her but it will infringe upon Tom Brady’s week of parenting time? One can imagine the demands of their respective schedulers just got more complicated. Plus, they have a blended family with Bridget Moynahan and her child with Brady. Will Gisele want to have parenting time with her former step-son? Even if everyone gets along famously, the logistics for such scheduling will be a challenge for all involved. With this level of fame and wealth, it is likely there will be some responsibilities and final decision making authority issues which will be challenging to hash out. Relocation? Private schools? High school choice? College expenses? Cell phone rights and responsibilities? Discipline for bad behavior? New or used luxury car for a 16-year-old? The opportunities for parental conflict are endless just like for any American family going through this. Additional concerns include right of first refusal for parenting time, injunction against unmarried overnight guests, non-emergency health care, religious decisions, and health insurance. If there is a dispute, the parents will likely mediate before being allowed to file an action with the court. For more discussion, see Tom Brady and Gisele B?ndchen Divorce: Celebrity Shared Parenting After Divorce.
Child Support: Tom Brady and Gisele B?ndchen will not likely be required to follow Florida state legal requirements unless their judge requires it. Almost all states have exceptions for high-income parents where state law need not apply. Here both make an astronomically high income. However, their judge will probably require compliance with state law when it comes to specific issues like payment of children’s extra-curricular expenses, educational travel, and general welfare and support. Funding for college will not be an issue, but what if one child flunks out or simply quits? Life will throw these parents a curve ball at some point. It always does.
Alimony: Tom Brady and Gisele B?ndchen likely agreed in a prenuptial agreement to waive spousal support. Even if there is no prenuptial agreement, any payment from one spouse to the other is unlikely unless one needs to pay out a percentage of any marital or joint property they agreed to split. Sometimes, that division can be described as spousal support when it is actually property division.
Settlement Paperwork: What takes so much time? Tom Brady’s and Gisele B?ndchen’s divorce lawyers will spend a great deal of time consulting with their clients’ respective business attorneys. All the lawyers must “sign off” on the various proposals. This can be an extremely frustrating process for married business owners, as well. Family lawyers routinely work with their clients’ business attorneys, in addition to estate planning attorneys, to make sure that the divorce settlement documents won’t conflict with existing estate and tax planning. For example, if Tom Brady has certain advertising contracts or real estate held within a Massachusetts limited liability company, the Tampa, Florida family lawyers must consult and consider what waivers are required under Massachusetts law.
For media comment, see Randy Kessler’s media kit and Miles Mason’s media page.