In latest celebrity divorce, between Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, Moore is seeking spousal support and attorney fees from Kutcher. After being married for six years, the couple separated in November 2011 and Kutcher filed for divorce about a year later in December 2012. In response, Moore recently filed her own papers as well, asking for spousal support as well as for Kutcher to pay her legal fees.
Spousal support is money one spouse pays to another after a divorce in order to help them maintain their standard of living after their split. Generally, spousal support is intended for couples in which one spouse is untrained or has been out of the workforce for a significant amount of time and thus would be unable to obtain employment and maintain their standard of living soon after a divorce. Only about 10 to 15 percent of final divorce judgments or decrees involve spousal support.
In addition to spousal support, courts usually mandate one spouse to pay part or all of their spouse’s attorney fees in a divorce only when there is a significant disparity in income between the two parties. For instance, if one spouse was the sole-income earner and the other is unemployed, then the income-earning spouse would likely be ordered to contribute to the cost of the dependent spouse’s attorney fees. When both spouses are equal in financial earnings or are able to pay for their own attorneys, they are generally each required to pay their own legal fees.
Despite these facts, Moore is requesting these funds from Kutcher although she is rumored to have more than him financially. According to the Huffington Post, Kutcher is reportedly worth $140 million, whereas Moore is worth $150 million. Although Kutcher has made more since their marriage than she has, earning $24 million last year from “Two and a Half Men” alone, she is still unlikely to receive the spousal support and attorney fees she’s requesting. However, Moore does have a strong track record when it comes to winning big financial settlements from divorce—in her divorce from Bruce Willis, she received $90 million, according to the Huffington Post.