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Alimony at the center of high-profile divorce

It's no secret that divorce can be expensive. Sure, most individuals have to pay legal fees, but the majority of the costs come in the form of property division, child support, and spousal support. Depending on the outcome of these issues, an individual can be left well-positioned for post-divorce life or face significant financial hardship. This is why it is critically important for Californians to protect their legal rights and aggressively argue their positions when these matters cannot be settled through negotiations.

One ongoing divorce case helps illustrate the financial challenges that those going through marriage dissolution can face. The case involves the founder of Cancer Treatment Centers of America and his ex-wife. The founder's ex-wife is currently trying to recover alimony in excess of $400,000 a month from the executive, which she claims is necessary to maintain the standard of living she enjoyed during the marriage.

Although Stephenson is expected to be worth millions, his attorneys think that the amount of alimony sought is an attempt to extort money from Stephenson. Although they countered the offer with $9,000 a month in support with an addition $450,000 for housing, that offer was refused. The judge handling the case indicated that more time was needed to analyze all of the evidence before the court.

As one can see from this case, parties' ideas of what is fair in divorce matters can vary widely. Yet, when a couple cannot negotiate a settlement that they feel is fair, the matter will be left to a judge to decide. He or she will have very little, if any, knowledge of the couple's relationship besides what is presented to the court in the way of evidence. This is why it is critically important to carefully prepare a competent legal strategy before engaging in the arena of family law.

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