Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Brendan Fraser's alimony struggle -- when enough is enough

Financially supporting one's former spouse is often expected by the breadwinner following a divorce in Massachusetts. But when is an alimony award just too much? This is something actor Brendan Fraser and others who pay spousal support are asking themselves.

Brendan Fraser has been in the movie business for quite some time. During his career, he married Afton Smith -- an actress -- and had three sons. Eventually the couple decided to end their marriage, and Ms. Smith was awarded alimony and child support to the tune of $900,000 annually.

Now, alimony is generally awarded for a set period of time until the receiving party can become financially stable on his or her own. In some cases, it may be awarded longer, and it usually depends on the length of the marriage and various other factors. In Mr. Fraser's case, it would appear that alimony was awarded for an extended period of time due to the standard of living the couple enjoyed while together. This he is expected to help his ex maintain despite the end of their union; however, as he is not racking in as much cash as he used to, he has asked the court to reduce his spousal support obligation. This is a request that has reportedly been denied, though he is not giving up the fight to get the modification he desires.

Whether one is an actor with a padded bank account or a regular Joe making an average salary, when a substantial change of circumstances is experienced one would think that the court would be understanding when it comes to alimony modifications. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Massachusetts residents who believe that their spousal support obligations are just too much can, with the assistance of legal counsel, fight to have the orders reduced or sometimes even dismissed altogether.

Source: tvovermind.com, "Brendan Fraser's Yearly Alimony Bill To Ex Wife Afton Smith is Absolutely Bonkers", Oct. 27, 2017

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