An Open Letter to Princess Jasmine: Don't Get Taken for a Magic Carpet Ride

Dear Princess Jasmine,

I’m a little more pleased than I like to admit that I’m becoming the divorce attorney of choice for the Disney princesses. I’m glad that Cinderella referred you, that you’re happy enough to allow me to share your situation with the public, and most of all, that you’re leaving the ranks of the Real Housewives of Disney for something more fulfilling. My congratulations to you on that, and let’s begin.

Intelligently—and this doesn’t surprise me, Princess Jasmine—you arranged for a prenuptial agreement before your marriage to Aladdin. Thank you for including a copy of said prenup, which, as you informed me, does indeed ensures that in the event of divorce you will of course keep everything that you had before you married Aladdin, regardless of how those assets may have been shared during the marriage. That means no problem keeping the palace, your pet tiger, and your various royal riches. Ace. Your prenup also stipulates that as long as the sum of your assets are substantially greater than Aladdin’s, upon your divorce he’ll be provided with a monthly allowance, so that he isn’t forced to go back to the streets, begging and stealing. All very generous.

However, you came to me with a problem that you didn’t foresee at the time you wrote the prenup, and that’s what I’m really here to advise on. The problem is that Aladdin’s assets now might actually exceed yours—and by his “assets,” I’m referring now to the income from Aladdin’sillegitimate business, which, contrary to what you expected to happen, has grown exponentially since you dragged him out of poverty. Over the years, Aladdin has used his improved financial situation along with his natural talent as a con man to rise through the ranks of Agrabah organized crime. He is now an extremely powerful, and extremely well-paid, professional criminal. Tax-free. And now he wants to cash in on the spousal support from you as if he has no other income. Not with me as your lawyer.

This is how what we’re going to prove what Aladdin’s actual earnings are, rather than relying on tax records to tell the whole story.

Lesson 1: Show that the numbers don’t add up.

First, all the bills—mortgage, car payments, bank statements, credit card bills and what have you—need to be examined, and subpoenaed where necessary.

Once we have all this, we can probably show fairly easily that what Aladdin was spending, and what you were giving him from the palace accounts, don’t match up—essentially, that if Aladdin’s expenses were 10,000 gold coins per month and his royal allowance was only 6,000 gold coins, then he had another 4,000 gold coins coming in from somewhere.

Lesson 2: Find out what he’s hiding from you.

Considering Aladdin’s history of conning people. That in mind, I’m sure he’s been conning you, too, Jasmine—if there’s one thing I’ve learned in this business, it’s that Disney princes never change. (It’s true; very little character development for men in Disney films.) Once a con man, always a con man, so it’s time to uncover his hidden treasures.

(I’m not talking about what Aladdin’s really been doing when he locks himself in the bathroom and says he’s “rubbing the lamp”—I’m talking about his hidden assets.)

We can subpoena bank statements in Aladdin’s name that might contain money he’s not reporting, and that you might not know about. We can also do a public records check to find out about any reported assets he hasn’t told you about, as well as any that pop up in the names of his friends, like the Genie. This is how we figure out where and how Aladdin has been siphoning off the palace fortune to purchase assets (which technically belong to you or both of you). You might be about to win treasure you never knew you had, Jasmine.

If you can enlist mutual friends to help with the search, you might consider it. Abu has been at Aladdin’s side for years, vastly unappreciated too, and he knows where the bodies are buried—I would start there.

Lesson 3: Argue for Aladdin’s earning capacity.

Even though your “diamond in the rough” turned out to be a con man in the truest sense, there’s a potential silver lining in that you might be able to use Aladdin’s con artist skills—his charisma, selling ability, his political charm—as reasons why he is extremely employable and is not and should not be, as he claims he is, entirely dependent on your wealth in the event of your divorce. At this point, we’re not arguing for his financial or property assets; we’re really discussing his skills as assets in themselves.

The Genie, oddly enough, is also a sort of asset for Aladdin; we might be able to argue this. While technically not Aladdin’s property nor indebted to him any longer, the Genie remains a powerful being who can make things happen for Aladdin (and, from the sounds of it, frequently does). Your husband is a man whose best friend has the ability to turn paupers into princes—does he really need monthly support payments from his ex-wife? Let’s discuss.

The great thing about your situation, Jasmine, is that you thought ahead, and you’re not going to get as screwed in this divorce as most of the Disney princesses will, because you got a prenup.

I hold you up as a shining example for married people everywhere, especially women; it’s not for nothing that you were named 5th Most Feminist Disney Princess by Nerve Magazine (a high honor if there ever was one).

No genies or wishes required, Princess Jasmine, just a prenup and a good lawyer. And I won’t even make a dirty joke about your Cave of Wonders.


James J Sexton