It is said that times change, and people change with them. While this may be true, there are some things that are not expected to change, such as prenuptial agreements. Where there has been significant change in the lifestyle or income of either party, New Jersey residents may decide to challenge the original documents in a bid to receive what they may consider a more equitable outcome in divorce.

Alicia Stephenson, the ex-wife of the founder of Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Richard Stephenson, is seeking in excess of $400,000 per month in maintenance. Alicia filed for divorce over eight years ago; however, it was not finalized until last year. Even so, an agreement has yet to reached on the financial settlement. The wife is arguing that not only should she be allowed to continue in the luxury lifestyle she enjoyed during the 18 years of marriage, but that she is also currently paying taxes on income to which she is entitled but does not in fact receive.

The prenuptial agreement signed by Ms. Stephenson specifically stated that she was not required to work outside the home; however, she claims to have advised her husband on a number of business and charitable matters, claiming that her husband wanted her to have this involvement in order to help promote the right image for the businesses he owned. She was never given a budget for her expenditures on commissioned artwork, furniture or furnishings at any of their homes, nor was there a limit imposed on her personal spending on clothing or jewelry. Having become accustomed to this lifestyle, she is now seeking to be able to continue in the same manner post-divorce.

For most New Jersey residents, the details of the lavish lifestyle enjoyed by this couple may be beyond that which he or she could imagine. It raises the question of whether one should be entitled to continue in the same lifestyle after divorce because his or her spouse is able to afford to support it. If one feels that he or she has made a significant contribution to the lifestyle or business of a wealthy partner, then it is important to gather together all evidence in support of this in order to pursue the issue.

Source: The Chicago Tribune, “Woman seeking $400,000 a month in divorce settlement said she has debts to pay“, Amanda Marrazzo, Jan. 12, 2017