California court makes decision in high asset divorce case

Many of our readers in California know that coming to an agreement at the end of a marriage can be difficult. This is true for a high asset divorce couple as well as for those going through one with more modest means. It can also be the case when one of the parties is a television star.

This happened when television star, Terrence Howard, and his now ex-wife, Michelle Ghent, returned to a California court to discuss their spousal support agreement. The agreement was part of the couple’s high asset divorce that occurred in 2012. After the divorce, Howard claimed that he had been coerced into signing after a threatening phone call from Ghent in 2011.

The terms were discussed in 2015 in a court, which held that the actor did not have to abide by the agreement. However, in this most recent matter, the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles found that the divorce judgment should be reinstated. This means that the actor must now pay his ex-wife $5,800 per month and as much as $4 million per year in spousal support.

In high asset divorce cases, in California and elsewhere, the amount of money discussed can appear to be high. However, as with all such matters, it is the responsibility of the court to determine if an agreement has been justly signed before it is enforced. When, as happened here, the court holds that the agreements in a dissolution have been signed without coercion, the paying spouse is required to comply. If a person finds that they have not been paid as per such an agreement, they may do well to review the laws of the state to determine the best course of action to receive what they should be paid.

Source:, “Appeals Court Reinstates Terrence Howards Divorce Judgment”, Anthony McCartney, June 21, 2017

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