Walmart Heiress’ Ex Wants A Whopping $400,000 A Month, Including Money For Charitable Donations-You tell me ..Do you think he will get it?

You tell me…Do you think he will get it?

Walmart heiress Paige Laurie filed for divorce from her husband of six years, Patrick Bode Dubbert, last March. Eleven months later, he’s reportedly decided Laurie should pay him $400,000 a month in spousal support before taxes.  Dubbert’s monthly necessities include his rental home (between $40,000 and $60,000), furniture ($10,000), personal chef ($6,700), clothes ($5,000), personal trainer ($2,500), vacations ($30,000), entertainment ($80,000), personal stylist ($1,000) and driver ($4,000), according to TMZ. He is also reportedly asking for a monthly stipend of $2,500 to make charitable donations — yes, you read that right.[1]  Read the full story here.

Well, if the Parties were in Southwest Florida the Husband would have a hard argument to sell to the courts, or at least according to Florida Second District Court’s current case law on the matter.

Temporary Alimony?

Although an award of temporary alimony is within the trial court’s broad discretion, the record must contain competent, substantial evidence to support the trial court’s ruling. [2]Without a showing of actual need, the Husband will be unable to show competent, substantial evidence supporting an award of support.

Ok, so what is “actual need?”

When a trial court evaluates whether an award of temporary alimony is proper, it must consider the parties’ standard of living in addition to the need of one spouse and the other spouse’s ability to pay.[3] Although it is considered, the standard of living is not a super factor in trumping all other factors in awarding alimony.[4] Where a high standard of living is met during marriage, the purpose of alimony is to provide for the less wealthy spouse above bare subsistence levels, not to fund the enjoyment of every little luxury enjoyed before divorce.[5]  “Fixing alimony at a profligate standard of living is to turn alimony into a lottery. That is one reason why the standard of living during marriage is not a super factor trumping all other factors in awarding alimony.”[6]

What is there is an “actual need” but the payor spouse cannot afford to pay?

The amount of an alimony award is excessive under the circumstances when the award leaves the payor spouse without sufficient funds for his own living expenses or without funds to pay other expenses ordered by the trial court.[7]

*Note-in the article, the Couple had a prenup.   So it would depend on whether the prenup defined what actual need is rather than relying on the statutory or case law definitions. 

[1] Leigh Weingus, Walmart Heiress’ Ex Wants A Whopping $400,000 A Month, Including Money For Charitable Donations, The Huffington Post, Posted: 02/04/2015 12:04 pm EST Updated: 02/04/2015 4:59 pm EST.

[2] Stanton v. Stanton, 50 So. 3d 688, (Fla. 2d DCA 2010); Also See Ghay v. Ghay, 954 So. 2d 1186, 1190 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007)(reversing an award of temporary award of alimony and child support because the amount awarded was greater than the deficit in the wife’s financial affidavit).

[3] Stanton, 50 So. 3d at 689.

[4] Id at 690.

[5] Id.

[6] Id. (quoting Jaffy v. Jaffy, 965 So. 2d 825, 828 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007).

[7] Gerard v. Gerard, 656 So. 2d 186, 187 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995)(Remanded to reconsider the amount of the award because the amount of the alimony should have been a reasonable figure considering the other financial payments the obligor had been ordered to pay).

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