PA Billionaire Ordered to Pay Three Quarters of One Million to Wife as Monthly Temporary Support

One of the most common questions in a divorce is whether a spouse can qualify for temporary relief and, if so, how much. In the typical Florida divorce, these are not always easy questions to answer.

But, in one Pennsylvania case, the first question was easy to answer and the answer to the second question was “a shot heard round the bar of family law attorneys”. The case is anything but typical.

A Mellon Bank heir and publishing magnate, a billionaire, is divorcing his wife of more than fifteen years. He earns several million annually.

Pennsylvania, unlike Florida, has a formula for temporary support. The dependent spouse receives forty percent of the paying spouse’s income.

This elegant simplicity led to a court ordering monthly temporary support in this case of $725,000.

It sets an all-time record for temporary support in Pennsylvania – and probably elsewhere too.

The billionaire’s attorneys are, of course, fighting the amount of the award.

Other issues in this unusual case include custody of the couple’s pet Golden Retriever, property division, income determination for purposes of calculating permanent alimony, etc.

Questions about temporary support are still generally tough to answer. But not if the paying spouse is a billionaire.

Read more in this Editor and Publisher article: Scaife’s Wife Gets Giant Settlement After Messy Divorce — Claims Newspaper is ‘Hobby’ and this Pittsburgh Post Gazette News article: Millions up for grabs in Scaife divorce fight.