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Actor financially unable to pay spousal support to ex-wife

Divorcing Georgia couples dividing up their financial assets may be able to learn from the experience of Hollywood actor Terrence Howard. Howard and his ex-wife are divorced, but he has told the court he cannot afford to pay her the $325,000 in spousal support stipulated in the divorce settlement. The reason, he said, is that all of the income he makes from his movies goes directly to his first wife to pay spousal and child support. After taking out the money, she then writes him a check, leaving him with less than $6,000 a month.

Howard has asked the court to throw out the settlement because he was married to his third wife for only one year. He and his first wife were married for 14 years and have three children, two of which are still minors. What complicates matters further while the court is working out the disbursement of funds is that Howard has allegedly been ordered to stay away from his ex-wife because of physical abuse issues. He has agreed to pay $14,800 of her attorney's fees.

Regardless of family income level, the court's decision on division of assets during divorce proceedings may be affected by previous marital arrangements. Equitable division of property can mean the court could award a greater share of money to the person responsible for child care expenses. With a high-wage earner, that is usually not a problem, but individuals who turn over their entire paycheck could find themselves in a financial hardship situation.

Multiple divorces can increase the need for a family law attorney to advise both parties on the best course of action based on the couple's financial resources. Situations can change, and legal fees added on to spousal support may require adjustments. The attorney may be able to help both parties compromise to reach a fair settlement.

Source: Daily News, "Terrence Howard says he can't afford spousal support for ex-wife, only makes $6,000 a month: report", Zayda Rivera, July 28, 2014

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