Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez finalize divorce 8 years later: A look at their 'unusual, but creative' settlement

The couple's financial arrangement leaves "potential for future conflict," cautions one legal expert.

Halle Berry and hOlivier Martinez, here in 2012, have finalized their divorce eight years after breaking up.
Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez, here in 2012, have finalized their divorce eight years after breaking up. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez have finally finalized their divorce after a long eight years. The actors, who share 9-year-old son Maceo, reportedly had to hash out custody and child support issues that have now been resolved — and Berry will be dishing out a pretty penny.

According to court documents obtained by People, Berry agreed to pay Martinez $8,000 a month in child support. The Oscar-winning actress will also pay him "4.3% of any income she receives" above $2 million in additional support. It's an "unusual, but creative" way to reach a financial settlement, according to one expert.

"It probably stems from a disagreement about her future income," divorce attorney Katherine Miller of Miller Law Group tells Yahoo Entertainment. "This arrangement allows them to share the risk and the reward and therefore doesn't unduly penalize one person."

Although the percentage might seem random, Peter Walzer, founding partner of family law firm Walzer Melcher LLP, tells Yahoo it's likely "a number generated by" a California child support program called the DissoMaster program.

Berry will also cover the costs of their son's private school tuition, uniforms and school supplies and any extracurricular activities.

Berry and the Unfaithful star met on set of the 2012 movie Dark Tide. They wed in a private ceremony in 2013, but announced their split two years later. They were declared legally single in 2016. Their divorce lasted longer than their entire relationship.

"Waiting eight years to finalize a divorce is uncommon for a celebrity divorce. Most people want to get their divorce over as soon as possible," Walzer notes. "On the other hand, the longer you wait, the less emotional people are, and the easier it is to resolve a case. Sometimes, it is easier to resolve if you wait until the parties have moved on and their children are older."

Walzer says that by "waiting a few years, it "can make paying support easier to stomach."

"It sounds like the parties wanted closure. They reached a point where they could resolve their issues in a civil and business-like manner. That is often hard to do after a breakup," he shares.

Miller agrees it's an "exceptionally" long divorce and says that length of time is "unusual for a celebrity divorce or any divorce for that matter."

"The delay could be the busy schedules of the parties, a change in lawyer or judges, an inability to reach agreement or frankly just not prioritizing the divorce over other things in their lives," she continues.

"It certainly took a long time, but Halle and Olivier seem to have worked out a creative financial settlement that allows each one to benefit based on Halle's future income," Miller adds, but points out there could be a bumpy road ahead.

"There is potential for future conflict because someone will have to make the calculation of what Olivier is entitled to each year but so long as they both trust that intermediary, it could be a great resolution…or not," she states.