A former NBA player with a sizeable net worth recently divorced his wife and during the proceedings, evidence showed the husband had failed to pay any alimony or child support throughout the period of separation.
The amount of alimony and child support the husband was supposed to pay was determined at a hearing before the trial took place called a pendente lite hearing in the case of Person v. Person.
Once the trial was underway, accounts maintained by the couple were valued in excess of millions of dollars and were awarded to the wife. The wife also was awarded sole physical and legal custody of the children. The husband was ordered to pay monthly child support and periodic alimony. The Court also determined the husband owed $320,000 in back child and spousal support during the time of the separation from his wife. The husband appealed this decision.
The Court of Appeals held that it was not proper to raise an issue with a pendente lite order on appeal from a final divorce judgment. To put it more simply, if the husband was upset with the pre-trial amount of child and spousal support he was supposed to pay while separated from his wife, he should have appealed it right then rather than waiting for completion of the trial. He did not raise the appeal of the pendente lite order in the correct way, and therefore the Court of Civil Appeals rejected his appeal.
The Court of Civil Appeals did accept his appeal on the issue of awarding alimony to the wife as determined in the final judgment. The wife had made no showing that alimony was necessary to her continuing to live her life in a certain manner.
Because no evidence indicated the wife would be unable to meet her needs without alimony, the trial court’s decision to award alimony was reversed. And because the alimony award is related to property division, the property award was also reversed.
Regardless of if you have millions of dollars on the line or not, ensuring you comply with the proper rules and procedures of the Court system can make a huge difference to the outcome of your case.
In this case, both parties ended up losing something because they did not comply with the rules in the right way— the husband appealed at the wrong time costing him $320,000 in child and spousal support. The wife did not properly communicate her need for alimony, resulting in her losing $1000 a month as well as the accounts valued in the millions.
If you are worried about your property and your financials being protected throughout your divorce, the best way to protect your assets is to hire a knowledgeable and capable attorney.
Call Divorce Attorney Joseph A. Ingram or Ingram Law LLC, at (205) 335-2640 to schedule your consultation.