This week marks some transitions in the family law world. Miley Cyrus announced her engagement to Liam Hemsworth, and Debra Messing from the show "Smash" filed for divorce from her husband Daniel Zelman, reports the Houston Chronicle.
According to People, 22-year-old Hemsworth proposed to 19-year-old Cyrus with a 3.5-carat diamond ring. On the other end of the spectrum, Messing claims that she has irreconcilable differences with Zelman, possibly stemming from a move to New York City, writes the Chronicle.
Seems like both ladies need to lawyer up.
First, Cyrus. She is getting married to a more minor star than herself. If the two of them were in public it would be like the recent Venus transit, where Venus was barely noticeable compared to the face of the sun. This means that Cyrus's fortune should be protected by her advisors.
This is not to say that the marriage will end or that Hemsworth is some sort of gold-digger, but when large amounts of wealth are concerned, surrounding a young star, you know someone in her employ is thinking the same thing and drafting a pre-nuptial agreement.
Now, the Messing/Zelman divorce is an example that it is still true that 50% of marriages end in divorce. It is also an example that even though both spouses are wealthy, one or the other can still claim spousal and child support.
In Texas, child support is based on how many children the couple had an on a percentage of the spouse not having custody's income. If Messing were a Texas resident and had custody of the children, even though she is a millionaire she would be entitled to about 20% of Zelman's income for child support. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, as the judge has discretion to make any support judgment reasonable.
Spousal support on the other hand is a different beast. The purpose of the support is to allow the other spouse to get back to a point where they can support themselves, with the idea that they had been relying on the marriage for financial support. With Messing, it is unlikely that she needs support, given she has a major role on a hit television show that she did not get through her relationship with her husband.
Miley Cyrus should certainly take a look at Debra Messing's situation and know that things change. Good luck to both couples in their transitions.