Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Celebrity alimony can be costly

For most couples who divorce in Massachusetts, one spouse can end up paying the other spouse alimony for a specific period of time. Recent changes to alimony law went into effect this year which impact the amount and length of time for alimony payments in Massachusetts.

For celebrities with high incomes and high net worth, the alimony negotiation can take an entirely different turn during divorce. The divorce of reality television star Cesar Millan has resulted in a $400,000 one-time payout plus $23,000 monthly alimony payments.

One of the reported conditions of the alimony payment however, was that the wife would keep all intimate, personal and sexual information about their relationship strictly private. This seems to indicate that should there be a "tell-all" book or private photos released or any other similar breach of the agreement, that the alimony agreement would be violated. The divorce document, which was available publicly, stated that the prohibited information included any "photograph, film, videotape, recording ... which is not commercially available." According to news reports, the wife agreed to the conditions.

Further, Cesar Millan agreed to $10,000 per month in child support payments for the couple's two sons. In most states the child support payments are a calculation that is based on each individual's annual income and other standard factors such as health care and childcare costs.

Cesar Millan's monthly income was reported to be $170,000 per month. Approximately 24 percent of his monthly income will be going to Millan's ex-wife for an undetermined amount of time. This is roughly the same percentage as that for couples with significantly lower incomes.

Divorce for any couple can be difficult. Judging by the length of time for this divorce agreement to be reached, nearly 23 months, there may have been quite a bit of negotiation to reach the alimony agreement and settle division of property issues.

Source: MyFox Boston, "Cesar Millan Hit with Huge Divorce Payout," April 21, 2012

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