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Celebrity divorce covers custody, support, property division

A recent celebrity divorce settlement illustrates some of the same general principles that may be applied in an average family law case here in Missouri and in other states. The celebrities are Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberly Buffington-Quaid. The divorce, filed by the wife in 2016, was finalized recently with the issuance of a final divorce decree.

Buffington-Quaid received a $2 million lump sum payment for spousal support, which also likely includes any potential claims for alimony. In addition, he will pay her $13,750 per month for child support for the couple's 10-year-old twins. All child support orders, even if entered into by a mutual settlement of the parents, can be modified due to changed circumstances.

To request an increase, a parent may file a petition for modification of the existing order. In this case, it is reported that the parties already agreed to an increase in any year that Quaid makes more than $1.3 million. The child custody order is a sharing joint custody arrangement, which is now the typical default order in many states.

She will receive 75 percent of the time with the children. The property settlement reflects that they split ownership of various vehicles. They will split the sale prices of their family home and Quaid will keep a home they own in Texas.

Other than the fact that the amounts are higher than average, the terms of the divorce settlement are not unusual and reflect a typical process of negotiations as might occur in a Missouri family law case. The parties were married for 12 years; when the case was first filed, they stressed that they remain "great friends" and would always work together to raise their children. That is the stock response by celebrities these days, but the success of such admirable goals must always pass the test of time.

Source: msn.com, "Dennis Quaid's Ex-Wife Gets $2 Million Spousal Support Lump Sum in Divorce Settlement", Mike Miller, April 27, 2018

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