As Florida advocates gear up for another round for alimony reform legislation, the story of comedian John Cleese may serve as a reminder of alimony's high cost. John Cleese has based part of his comedy show on alimony, and over the years he has paid millions of dollars to his ex-wife.
The comedian started a one-man show a few years ago called 'The Alimony Tour.' Before that, he experienced success through his role in the Monty Python comedy troupe. Although he is 74 years old now and was divorced in 2008, he is still making alimony payments to his ex-wife, who was a psychotherapist. They had been married for 16 years at the time of their divorce, and had no children together. Their settlement was entered into in 2009. He remarried in 2012 with his fourth wife.
Cleese reports that he will have paid his ex-wife $23 to $24 million in alimony over the course of seven years, in accordance with the alimony agreement. He says that he began with five properties and had to sell off four of them to be able to make the required payments to his ex-wife. According to the terms of the divorce settlement, he agreed to pay $13 million in cash and assets to his ex-wife. He also agreed to pay $1 million a year until 2016.
Individuals who are going through a high-asset divorce may decide to consult with a family law attorney. Taking this action may help them to discuss their options and strategies in exiting the marriage. They may also be able to receive advice about how to make the most of a property settlement agreement, such as liquidating assets of a high value in order to split the proceeds between both spouses.
Source: The Huffington Post, "John Cleese's Alimony Payments Are No Laughing Matter", January 31, 2014