Breaking up is hard to do. Alimony. It’s a hot button issue in divorce and it seems unfair when one spouse is ordered to pay a hefty sum each month towards the daily living costs and lifestyle choices of their ex-spouse. These individuals are no longer connected, yet the financial obligation continues.
Acclaimed musician David Foster does not want to pay spousal support to ex Yolanda Hadid, according to recent court documents. Maybe those large and onerous medical bills have something to do with it. The Grammy winner is asking to “terminate the ability of the court to award spousal support” to the former model. In turn, Yolanda would be free of paying David spousal support as well. Reports claim that the couple has struck a property settlement agreement based on a prenup they signed before they married in 2011.
David filed legal docs asking the judge to reject any bid for spousal support. The judge has not signed off on the divorce yet. Yolanda and David married after five years together in a lavish ceremony in Beverly Hills on November 11, 2011.
Yolanda, 52, official filed for divorce from David, 66, in January citing irreconcilable differences. The pair separated in December 2015. In her divorce filing in January, Yolanda indicated she was seeking spousal support and legal fees from David but it appears that now David doesn’t want to have to pay spousal support to his ex.
In recent years, courts have decided cases based on the idea that alimony, by nature, is temporary in nearly all situations. Spousal support is meant to come to an end. Spousal support can conclude upon: 1) death of the receiving spouse; 2) remarriage by the receiving spouse; or 3) a court order to end support within a specific term of years and that term expires.
David’s attorney might be asking that the court look into what the supported spouse (Yolanda) has done to move towards self-sufficiency. Yolanda should show progress towards self-sustainability. It is the policy of the State of California that both parties become self-supporting within a reasonable amount of time. Spousal support is meant to bridge that gap between the time it takes for the supported spouse to obtain employment and resources that meet their cost of living needs.
Yolanda and David were seen heading for their split during the sixth season of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. During the show, cracks began to surface in their marriage. Although it was said that her Lyme disease played a role in the split, Yolanda clarified those rumors while opening up about her divorce on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Watch What Happens Live.
“The patient suffers, but the caretakers suffer too. Because life doesn’t only change for us, it changes for the person next to you,” Yolanda expressed. “At the end of the day, David never changed, I changed. Unfortunately, these are the cards that life dealt me. But I’m not the woman I used to be and I probably will never be again.”
There are several factors the courts will consider when ordering spousal support. Primarily, the court will look at both you and your spouse’s gross monthly income. “Income” under California Family Code includes revenue from various sources, incorporating commissions, salaries, royalties, wages, bonuses, and dividends.
In California the duration of marriage is tied to the duration of the spousal support obligation.If a marriage is less than 10 years, spousal support will not be ordered for longer than half the length of the marriage. The court may look at other factors like the standard of living during the marriage, the ability of the paying spouse to contribute to alimony, the supported spouse’s capacity to earn money, and age and health may warrant either an extension or withholding of support. So long as the statutory factors are considered and weighed, the ultimate decision as to amount, duration, and whether to retain spousal support jurisdiction rests within the court’s broad discretion.
In theory Yolanda could refuse alimony to cut ties with her ex and move forward with a clean slate. Some people refuse alimony because they can support themselves. Other individuals feel that alimony is offensive if you have the ability to pay. But whether you decline alimony is a personal decision. If you can work, a court may even require you to enter the workforce based on prior work experience, skill, and education.
In evaluating the parties’ respective needs and abilities to pay, the court cannot engage in speculation. An order for spousal support must be based on the facts and circumstances existing at the time the order are made.
Generally, property distribution is backward-looking, and takes into account the marital relationship as it existed. Alimony, by contrast, is forward-looking and reflects the law’s concern with the future of the parties, and their respective situation after the divorce. How do you think Yolanda’s Lyme disease diagnosis and subsequent symptoms will impact the spousal support order?
Due to the nature of a celebrity’s career in the arts and entertainment industry, which can fluctuate more easily than other professions, the current valuation of celebrity status over a limited projected time undoubtedly leads to inequitable monetary awards.
California alimony law states that in a divorce or legal separation case that is pending, the Family Court has the power to order either spouse to pay support to the other. The amount of the support is in the amount that is necessary for the support of the other spouse. Before there is a final judgment, California alimony laws give the court the power to order temporary alimony based on a spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay. California alimony laws state the fundamental purpose of temporary alimony is to maintain the status quo.
Modification of spousal support happens when the party is no longer in need, or a negative change in the obligor party’s needs or ability to pay outweighs the other’s need for support. Proceedings to terminate (or reduce) support can be brought on the basis of “changed circumstances.”
Grab your gavel, join the conversation, and let us know what you think about this latest twist in the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills divorce case.
Should Yolanda receive spousal support?
Stacy Slotnick, Esq. holds a J.D., cum laude, from Touro Law Center and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She performs a broad range of duties as an entertainment lawyer, including drafting and negotiating contracts; addressing and litigating trademark, copyright, and other IP issues; and directing the strategy and implementation of public relations, blogging, and social media campaigns.