Alimony and The Parent Trap

Actor Dennis Quaid and his former wife Kimberly Buffington-Quaid are Breaking Away and are officially divorced. However, reports show that the multi-millionaire actor may not be paying alimony to his former Enemy Mine. Why not?

The Big Easy

According to People, Buffington-Quaid, who filed for divorce in 2016, will receive $2 million in a lump sum payment, another million for property settlements, and $13,750 a month in child support.

According to further reports, her child support payment could increase if Quaid pulls in more than $1.3 million in a year. However, there are no reports that he is paying alimony, other than the cryptic reference to a “lump sum payment”.

The Quaids case may be one in which alimony is not needed.

Florida Alimony

I’ve written about alimony and alimony reform in Florida often. In every dissolution of marriage case, the court can grant alimony to either party – husband or wife.

There are several types of alimony in Florida: bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent alimony. The court can also award a combination of alimony types.

Alimony awards are normally paid in periodic payments, but sometimes the payments of alimony can be in a lump sum or both lump sum and periodic payments.

In determining whether to award alimony or not, the court has to first make a determination as to whether a party, like Buffington-Quaid, has an actual need for alimony, and whether the other party has the ability to pay alimony.

Once a court determines there is a need and ability to pay alimony, it has to decide the proper type and amount of alimony. In doing so, the court considers several factors, some of which can include:

  • The standard of living established during the marriage.
  • The duration of the marriage.
  • The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
  • The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
  • The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.

In the Quaid case, Buffington-Quaid seems to have been awarded a very handsome property settlement, in addition to over $13,000 per month in child support payments.

The Right Stuff

While the Quaids are sharing joint physical custody of their children, Buffington-Quaid was awarded 75% of their time.

From Quaid’s Vantage Point, he made out ok, and is reportedly keeping most of the cars — a 2007 Land Rover, 2012 Mercedes and 2013 Honda.

His ex-wife will also have Something to Talk About, she will keep her 2014 Mercedes. Additionally, the actor will keep their home in Austin, Texas, and they’ll split the sale price of their family home.

The People article is here.