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Actor's failure to pay spousal support could mean trouble

Coming to the end of a marriage is difficult in many ways. First and foremost, ending a relationship can be extremely emotional and can also be volatile, especially if children are involved. Once a marriage ends the family dynamic changes forever and each person in that family has to deal with the aftermath of divorce. Coupled with the emotional toll that divorce can bring there is also the financial part of divorce that the parties have to handle. Child support, spousal support, alimony, asset valuation and property division are all topics of discussion in a divorce, and are all things that need to be addressed and rectified before a divorce is finalized.

Well known actor Terrence Howard is on the hook for spousal support to his ex-wife for over $300,000. When the marriage ended and Howard was ordered to pay spousal support, the court most likely based its decision and the amount to be paid on Howard's income, which is standard practice in these types of situations. However, Howard is claiming that he only makes a certain amount of money a month and cannot afford to pay the spousal support bill. The parties will probably have to go back to court to address this matter.

When financial circumstances change for the individual that is supposed to pay spousal support, or even child support for that matter, the court will take this into consideration and can modify the payments. The court needs proof of a financial disruption that would adversely impact the paying party if they had to continue to pay the original amount mandated by the court in order to modify a court order. However, the court is willing and able to do this in most cases, where appropriate.

Not paying a court ordered spousal support order is not an option. Communicating with the court about a change in circumstances is the better route to take.

Source: Michigan Chronicle, "Terrence Howard Too Broke To Pay Spousal Support," Ariel Cherie, July 28, 2014

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