Hollywood star Richard Gere, who earned over $82 million in 2013 alone, split from wife Carey Lowell last year. Carey, a 53-year-old former model, is seeking a substantial portion of the 65-year-old Pretty Woman actor's $250 million fortune. Her main basis for the claim is that she forfeited her career to care for Gere and their 14-year-old son Homer after they tied the knot in 2002. She is asking for half of Gere's earnings after this point.
Like many people in their 50s and 60s seeking a divorce, both Gere and Lowell have been married before. Gere was married to model Cindy Crawford from 1991 to 1995. They had no children together. This was Lowell's third marriage and she has a 24-year-old daughter with her second husband, actor and director Griffin Dunne.
Gere and Lowell made their first appearance in a Manhattan divorce court in late October, so their case will not be settled for quite some time. However, this celebrity example of the growing trend of so-called "grey" divorces raises the question of how much compensation is in order for a stay-at-home spouse.
California's community property laws require an equal distribution of marital assets, regardless of whether both spouses worked outside the home. In the case of a "grey" divorce, alimony would likely be awarded to help the stay- at-home spouse establish an independent post-divorce life. If the marriage lasted more than 15 years, the lower earning spouse can receive alimony indefinitely as long as the higher earning spouse has the ability to pay. Since older job seekers often find themselves facing age discrimination and a lack of up-to-date professional skills, extended alimony provisions can provide a much needed safety net.
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Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com if you have questions about California's community property laws. Our Pasadena divorce law firm is eager to advocate for your needs and help you move on with the next stage of your life.