Court-Ordered Alimony or Spousal Support Can Really Be a Bear …

Especially in Italy.

Just ask Italy’s seventy-six year old former three-term prime minister, Husband. Who served in that office after first establishing himself as a media mogul there.

An Italian family court ordered this billionaire to shell out more than $47 million per year, or close to $4 million per month, as alimony, or spousal support, to his ex-wife.

I routinely hear from ex-husbands who are angry and bitter over court orders to pay comparatively paltry alimony awards, closer to $4,000 per month.

They’d resent paying $4 million in annual spousal support considerably moreso.

But Husband doesn’t seem to be losing any sleep – or time – over his alimony obligation to his second wife.

Instead, Husband appears to be focused on his impending marriage to his 27 year old fiance. A much healthier attitude.

And perhaps also some criminal charges which he was recently convicted of and sentenced for, others which he was recently convicted of but not yet sentenced for, and still another for which he is under investigation.

And maybe even his planned bid for re-election as prime minister.

Doesn’t leave much time for bitterness.

One can only speculate as to whether the happy couple has entered a prenuptial agreement.

No information is provided as to whether Husband bears any alimony obligations to his first wife. It doesn’t take too much imagination to recognize that, if things don’t work out with the twenty-seven year old, another divorce and alimony obligation on top of this new alimony award to his second wife, could start to add up to some real money.

Read more in this Hollywood Reporter article: Italy’s Berlusconi Ordered to Pay Nearly $50 Million a Year in Alimony.

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Divorce Cliches Revisited

Some cliches everyone takes for granted about divorce may not be true.

  • Cliche: half of marriages end in divorce. While 40 to 50% of marriages do end in divorce, this number is skewed by serial divorcers, the folks who marry and divorce repeatedly. In the USA, the divorce rate has actually been trending down.

  • Cliche: living together cuts divorce risk. Probably not true, although it may depend on the reason the couple moves in together.

  • Cliche: second marriages are more likely to stand the test of time. Actually, no. With each failed marriage behind someone, the odds that their new marriage will end in divorce rises a bit more.

  • Cliche: divorce is very expensive. This depends on the couple, and how they handle their divorce. Divorce need not be expensive.

  • Cliche: all ex-wives get alimony. Definitely not. This depends on the particulars of the marriage. But permanent alimony is definitely becoming the exception and the emerging trend is away from alimony. And, under the right circumstances, it may be the wife doling out the alimony, rather than the husband.

  • Cliche: mothers nearly always get primary custody of the children. Definitely … once upon a time. Nowadays, custody is an all but obsolete concept. Other things being equal, many judges begin with an expectation of dividing timesharing between parents relatively equally. But it always depends on the particulars of each case.

  • Cliche: divorce is more prevalent in the US than in other countries. Pretty close to the truth. Only five other countries have higher divorce rates than ours.

Read more in this Woman’s Day article: 7 Divorce Myths—Debunked!

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