Short Term Alimony Face Off

According to TMZ, actor Nicolas Cage’s estranged wife, Erika Koike, doesn’t care their Las Vegas marriage only lasted for four days before Cage filed for an annulment. Koike says her marriage is valid, wants ‘the rock’ on her finger, and short term alimony.

‘Leaving Las Vegas’

The actor, 55 and his new bride, 34, a makeup artist, had been dating for over a year when ‘the Family Man’ filed for a marriage license in Las Vegas on March 23.

There was no ‘honeymoon in Las Vegas’, and now their ‘face off’ in a Clark County, Nevada court will be about the validity of their short-term marriage.

‘Seeking justice’, Cage filed for the annulment four days later in claiming that he was too drunk to comprehend what he was doing when they were married — and that he was unaware of Koike’s criminal record at the time.

Erika Koike then filed an answer to the complaint for annulment and a Counterclaim for divorce in court a few weeks after the petition was filed – which Cage filed just four-days after they were married in Las Vegas.

In the pleadings, Cage claims he “reacted on impulse and without the ability to recognize or understand the full impact of his actions,” and also says the marriage was based on fraud.

Florida Short-Term Alimony

I’ve recently written about Cage’s divorce and annulment petition. On the topic of alimony and spousal support, the length of a marriage is important. Florida Statutes actually define what the length of your marriage means.

Length of a Marriage

For example, in order to determine alimony, there is a rebuttable presumption in Florida that a short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than 7 years.

Florida Statutes define a moderate-term marriage as a marriage having a duration of greater than 7 years but less than 17 years. And, a long-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of 17 years or greater.

How do you measure the marriage term? In Florida, the length of your marriage is the period of time measured from the date of your marriage until the date of filing of an action to dissolve your marriage.

In Nicolas Cage’s case, a four-day marriage would be considered “short-term” under Florida law. Is there short-term alimony for a short-term marriage?

Types of Alimony

The Length of the marriage is very important when it comes to determining the kind of duration of alimony payments.

For example, permanent alimony is generally for longer term marriages if the statutory criteria are met. In shorter term marriages and for moderate term marriages, permanent alimony may be considered, but the burden of proof is much higher.

Conversely, bridge-the-gap alimony is generally awarded to allow a person to transition from being married to being single. So, bridge-the-gap alimony is designed for short-term needs. In fact, the length of an award bridge-the-gap alimony may not exceed 2 years.

Durational alimony helps provide a person with economic help for a set period of time after short or moderate length marriages or following a marriage of long duration if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis.

The length of your marriage also factors in to property divisions. When a court divides the marital assets and debts, the court begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal. One of the factors a court can look to in justifying an unequal distribution includes the duration of the marriage.

‘National Treasure’ Hunter

Koike claims Cage’s impulsive actions don’t qualify for an annulment. As for the alleged fraud, she argues Cage asked her to start again “in the right way” just 12 days after filing for an annulment … proving their relationship’s legitimate.

If Cage can successfully prove a case for annulment, Koike would not be eligible for spousal support as she would not be his spouse.

However, if Cage fails, and the court finds he had the capacity to marry and wasn’t defrauded, Koike would be entitled to spousal support.

According to TMZ, Koike argues she lost career opportunities during her long relationship with Cage and her reputation’s been damaged by his allegations. She’s also asking him to pay for her legal fees.

Cage has been married three previous times. Cabe was married to Alice Kim, Lisa Marie Presley, and Patricia Arguette.

The TMZ article is here.