The coronavirus outbreak has meant alimony modification, as the pandemic has impacted everyone’s ability to work. For comedian Ron White, the coronavirus outbreak has meant he cannot tell his off color jokes in venues across the country. For everyone who lost their income, or saw it reduced dramatically, alimony modification is no laughing matter.
“I got happily married to a rich woman. If you ever have a choice, go ahead.”
The coronavirus pandemic has caused governments and private owners to stop holding mass gatherings of crowds. Ron White, the 63-year-old Texas born comedian, is asking a judge to end his spousal support obligations to ex-wife Margo Rey, who he divorced in 2017 because he has no venue to perform his stand-up in.
White has been paying $25,000 a month to singer Margo since November 2019, but says his income has been drastically reduced due to gigs being cancelled amid the global health crisis.
In court documents obtained White explained she continued her decades-long pursuit of being a professional singer at which she is not self-supporting. I have spent 200+ days per year traveling the country every year to do stand-up shows, and I made more than $200,000 per month doing it.
Now I cannot work. I have a tenth-grade education. I am 63. Margo still insists I pay her $25,000 per month. I have employees depending on me for wages and benefits. I do not even have $25,000 per month of income.’
The stand-up comedian provided a breakdown of his income and expenses which reveals his net income is just over $300,000 with expenses totaling more than $433,000. He claims his income since the pandemic is now zero.
The comic is asking the judge to terminate his spousal support obligations.
Florida Alimony Modification
I have written about alimony modification before, and spoke at the Florida Bar Family Law Section/AAML Certification Review Course in Orlando on the topic of Modifications. There are a few reasons why alimony and child support can be modified.
Dramatic changes have been brought on by the coronavirus. The pandemic has impacted people’s health and their ability to go back to work. Normally, things like substantial drops and rises in pay, big gifts or lottery winnings, loss of jobs, furloughing, and early retirement are the major forces behind alimony and child support modification.
In Florida, to modify alimony and child support, you have to show three fundamental things: a substantial change in circumstances, the change was not contemplated at the time of the final judgment of dissolution, and that the change is sufficient, material, involuntary and permanent in nature.
Florida courts have discretion to modify alimony and child support retroactively to the date of the original filing of the action to modify, or supplemental action for modification depending on the cause.
It is important to keep in mind that you have to take the initiative, a court will not increase or reduce or terminate your alimony and child support payments if you have not filed the appropriate pleadings.
“You ever smoke so much pot your wife starts to make sense? Me neither.”
The former couple married in 2013 and split four years later. Margo claimed her comedian husband left her penniless after she overcame cancer.
In court documents at the time the then 53-year-old said White ended their relationship and canceled her credit cards with no warning. He also allegedly changed the locks to the home they were renovating.
The songstress said she discovered White had cut her off when she was attempting to pay for medical bills connected to her cancer treatment.
She requested spousal support claiming that Ron’s team cancelled 30 of her gigs – booked alongside Ron’s – with no warning, leaving her without income.
During their divorce battle Ron claimed he wasn’t officially married to Margo because she refused to sign a prenup. But the wedding went ahead anyway with Ron shelling out $100,000 for the big day.
He tried to get the divorce thrown out and called their October 2013 Texas wedding a ‘mock marriage ceremony’ which Margo knew wasn’t real.
Last year a Los Angeles. Superior Court judge sided with Margo and declared the couple was in a common-law marriage under Texas law and had also lived together in California as husband and wife.
The Daily Mail article is here.