In 2012, Dina Eastwood, Clint Eastwood’s second wife of 17 years, filed for a legal separation.
Although Dina asked for spousal support, legal custody of their teenaged daughter, and coverage of her attorney fees and costs, Clint (reported to have amassed a net worth of $325 million) asked the court to honor a prenuptial agreement preventing his wife from receiving spousal support.
The media reported shortly thereafter that Dina had gone back to her previous job as a news anchor with a northern California television station.
The theory is that because she could not count on the court awarding her the spousal support she felt entitled to, she may have gone back to work because she worried about how she would support herself post-divorce.
In many states, even without a prenuptial agreement, if one spouse is the higher or sole earner, the other spouse is often not simply entitled to collect spousal support without demonstrating appropriate efforts to become self-supporting – even if one is married to someone rich and famous.
Today, many states’ public policies regarding dissolution of marriage require both parties demonstrate efforts to be self-supporting. The days of wives or husbands relying on a spouse for support indefinitely after divorce appear to be over.
Courts are frequently imputing income to a divorcing spouse, even if he or she is married to someone rich and/or famous.
Thus, vocational (or employability) experts are often requested to impartially determine a party’s current employability, earning capacity and assess his/her efforts to be self-supporting.
The old-adage “there is no free lunch” seems to be alive and well in today’s family courts.