Orange County readers are likely familiar with the Hollywood actors Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. Though the couple split in November of 2011, their divorce was just recently finalized. Kutcher filed divorce paperwork in December of 2012 and since then, Moore has been seeking a common factor in many divorces: alimony. Allegedly, Moore was seeking $25 million as a lump sum form of spousal support, partially fueled by Kutcher's alleged infidelity. However, with Kutcher as one of television's highest paid actors, as well as the hand behind some tech startups and the face of a popular digital camera, the actor's net worth likely had a hand in the holdup as well.
Though most couples do not have this kind of scale in their own wealth, creating a divorce agreement can still be a challenge, and alimony or spousal support is often an area of great contention. There are numerous factors which play into the granting of spousal support, including the length of the marriage, the income of both spouses and the ability of each spouse to earn in the future. In Kutcher and Moore's case, the marriage was not overly short, and so the main factors would have been based on present income and the future earnings. Though Hollywood examples do not represent the norm, there are lessons to be learned for average couples.
Moore apparently alleged that her connections enabled Kutcher to become involved with the technology companies that contributed to his income. In a case like this, a judge may find that this is cause to grant additional spousal support. By creating a divorce agreement which is agreeable to both spouses, couples can avoid the litigation process and complete the divorce more quickly, allowing families to move on.
Source: The LA Times, "Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher finalizing long divorce, reports say" Nardine Saad, Oct. 31, 2013