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Family law documents give insight into Casey Affleck's divorce

Whether a person should be pay alimony to an ex-spouse is not always clear. Although many people in Michigan are under the impression that one person will always have to pay another spousal support after a divorce, this is simply not the case. Family law can be complex, and judges typically take the time to understand all of the factors -- including the length of the marriage and each person's income -- before ordering spousal support payments.

Some Casey Affleck fans might be surprised to learn that he was not ordered to pay spousal support to his ex, Summer Phoenix. The couple was married for 10 years before they separated in Nov. 15, and their divorce was only recently finalized. Recent documents indicate that Affleck only makes approximately $400,000 annually, which might seem like a substantial amount to most, but is not much compared to his Hollywood peers. Phoenix reported an annual income of $24,000.

The actor does, however, foot the bill for private school tuition. It is not clear how the couple split custody of their 13 and 9-year-old sons, but Affleck will pay their tuition for at least two years. He also pays $4,000 per month in child support.

Affleck's annual income might be going up soon, as his most recent film has won several awards and has been nominated for others. When work or life situations impact a person's income, it is sometimes necessary to modify existing court-ordered support payments. Either individual may petition the Michigan family law court for a modification, and must provide proof that a change in income will impact a person's ability to pay, or how much they can afford. This is usually best done promptly to ensure that both parties and their children are as financially secure as possible.

Source: People, "Casey Affleck Discloses $400k Yearly Salary in Divorce Docs", Mike Miller, Dec. 7, 2017

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