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Actress agrees to large alimony payments in divorce agreement

In Florida and other states, the equality of the sexes is sometimes highlighted by the settlement agreements that are entered into by celebrities and high-income parties. It is no longer always the male who makes the most money of the marital partners. Now, it may be the female who makes considerably more than her male counterpart, and she is sometimes the one who must pay the spousal support or alimony amount in a divorce settlement.

With respect to celebrities, it is not unusual to see the woman paying large sums of money in spousal support  or alimony to the man. For example, recently actress Katharine McPhee agreed to pay her ex-husband, Nick Cokas, the sum of $400,000 per year in spousal support, which is basically, under these facts, the same thing as alimony. As a general rule in most states, spousal support is paid to the date of the divorce and alimony is paid after the divorce is final.

The assets between McPhee and Cokas were separated by agreement but the details were not reported, except that each party kept their respective motor vehicles. McPhee starred in the canceled show, Smash, and is now starring in a series called Scorpion. Obviously, the facts submitted in discovery and to the court in connection with the settlement show that McPhee, 31, makes much more than Cokas, who is 50.

Florida law provides for several different kinds of alimony, including both permanent and temporary types, and the law sets forth several factors that go into determining the amount. One of the more important factors is the standard of living that the parties knew during the marriage. The spouse with a substantially higher income may be called upon to maintain the other spouse in the economic lifestyle to which the parties, and their children, have come to expect and rely upon over an extended period of years. However, there are many elements that go into deciding an alimony award, and a person is taking a significant risk in agreeing to any alimony or support terms without first consulting with an experienced divorce and family law attorney.

Source: US Weekly, "Katharine McPhee Finalizes Divorce, Ex-Husband Getting More Money Than You Might Think", Joyce Chen, Feb. 10, 2016

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