Dr. Dre’s Wife Requests $2M in Alimony Per Month
Dr. Dre’s divorce case in California* is presenting many family law legal issues on a scale not often seen.
According to TMZ, Dr. Dre’s wife, Nicole Young, wants $1,936,399 to cover her monthly expenses. Here’s the breakdown
— Laundry and cleaning $10,000 a month
— Clothes $135,000 a month
— Education (tuition and living expenses) $60,000 a month
— Entertainment $900,000 a month
— Charitable contributions $125,000 a month
— Mortgage. $100,000 a month
— Telephone, cell phone, e-mail $20,000 a month
One common factor in determining an alimony award is the parties’ standard of living during the marriage. The general concept being that the alimony-seeking spouse contributed to the marriage in ways other than earning the high income, which enabled the higher-earning spouse to be successful. The parties, through that joint effort, achieved a certain standard of living that the alimony-seeking spouse seeks to enjoy post-divorce.
Alimony and the division of marital property are common issues in divorce cases, but not at this financial level. Standard of living is also just one of several factors that judges/magistrates/finders-of-fact consider when making an alimony determination and award. When the numbers get this high, there are a host of other intangible issues that the litigant and the litigant’s attorney should consider.
Assuming that this case or a case with similar numbers ever makes it into a courtroom, there is a very important factor to consider: the audience! The judge/magistrate/finder-of-fact who may hear this case perhaps earns $200k annually. The members of the court’s support staff – the clerks, reporters, deputies, etc. – earn far less. The rare litigant (perhaps more importantly the litigant’s attorney) in a similar situation, or anywhere close to these financial levels has to understand the delicacies of presenting this type of claim to a judge/magistrate/finders-of-fact who very likely cannot relate to this level of lifestyle. It is a very difficult case to make when one is claiming to “need” this much financial support in order to spend on things like clothes, entertainment, domestic help, etc.
Also, it is absolutely critical to remember the contrast between what else is going on in the world (unemployment, evictions, market volatility, etc.) when presenting high-dollar alimony cases. In many jurisdictions, the very same judges/magistrates/finders-of-fact that would hear this matter and be tasked with making a decision as to whether to order this type of monetary support are also presiding over cases with much more sympathetic issues. These same judges/magistrates/finders-of-fact also often preside over criminal cases with significant bodily harm (or worse), and all forms of crimes of abuse, including cases where children are harmed, assaulted, and/or neglected.
It can be a difficult task under these circumstances to pull off an effective trial presentation. Our Columbia Maryland alimony attorneys are well-versed in both presenting and defending high income cases, not only because of our technical abilities, but also because we are acutely aware of the intangible issues discussed above and others.
* Of course, Weinberg & Schwartz, LLC does not practice law in California, and accordingly, nothing in this post should be considered legal advice