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Cleese pays millions in alimony

Although North Carolina audiences laughed along with comedian John Cleese's one-man show "The Alimony Tour" a few years ago, the titled show was appropriate for Cleese's life situation. The man agreed to pay millions of dollars of alimony and continuing payments for several years after his divorce as part of the property division agreement.

Cleese and his third wife were married for 16 years until their divorce in 2008. The comedian and his psychotherapist wife entered into a divorce settlement agreement in 2009. Although he had acquired success with "Monty Python," he has had to work overtime in order to make payments to his ex-wife in compliance with the settlement agreement. He also said that he had to sell off four of his five properties in order to make all of the required payments to his ex-wife.

The 74-year-old actor says that he thinks that he will have paid his wife $23 million or $24 million by 2016. The original terms of his agreement said that he had to pay $13 million in cash and assets to his ex-wife. He was also instructed to pay almost $1 million each year until 2016. The man got married to his fourth wife in August 2012, who is 31 years younger than he is.

Individuals who are going through a high-asset divorce may have more complex matters to contend with than other individuals. For example, they may have large interests in retirement accounts, businesses or inheritances. They may also have prenuptial agreements in place that may dictate the terms of their divorce. Consulting with a family law attorney may help individuals learn about their options. They may also be able to receive advice about ways to optimize their property division settlement, such as selling off property.

Source: The Huffington Post, "John Cleese's Alimony Payments Are No Laughing Matter", January 31, 2014

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