Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth Divorce: No Spousal Support

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth were married in December 2018, and filed for divorce less than a year later. They had dated on and off for ten years before getting married, and the reasons for their split are in dispute.

It was widely reported a couple of days ago that the divorce was final, but actually the divorce doesn’t become final until six months after the filing date. That means Miley and Liam will be officially divorced in February.

Miley and Liam worked out a divorce settlement in December, and it involves neither of them receiving spousal support from the other. Why is no one receiving alimony? Two reasons may be in play here. First, it has been reported that there was prenuptial agreement, and it likely says that no one receives spousal support.

Second, even if there was not a prenup dictating these terms, it is likely that neither would receive spousal support because they each make plenty of money independently. In other words, neither Liam nor Miley needs money from the other person to maintain their lifestyle.

Laws differ in each state regarding the circumstances under which spousal support is owed and how it is calculated. When it comes to high net worth spouses, the support guidelines (which often focus on paying a percentage of one’s income) usually do not apply. In those cases, the court typically looks at the lifestyle of the spouses during the marriage. Many times (especially in long-term marriages) the court says that the spouses should be able to maintain the same standard of living after the divorce.

So…. the forensic accountant (me!) does a bunch of work to figure out the “cost” of the lifestyle during the marriage. That will guide the court as to how much money is needed on a monthly basis after the divorce. If one of the parties has significantly less income than the other, spousal support may be awarded so the lower income party is able to maintain the same lifestyle. Lots more on this topic is found in my book: Lifestyle Analysis in Divorce Cases: Investigating Spending and Finding Hidden Income and Assets.

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