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Appealing a divorce ruling: The Alicia Stephenson case

Georgia residents who want out of their marriages likely have an idea of what they hope to achieve in terms of their settlements. Sometimes, though, divorce settlements do not always live up to that ideal. While there is often the need to negotiate terms and give a little, in the end the final agreement should be fair for both parties. If a divorce ruling is made and one spouse disagrees with its terms, it may be possible to appeal.

The divorce of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America founder Richard Stephenson and his wife made headlines recently. The divorce process for this couple began back in 2009. They struggled for years to reach a settlement, resulting in their case going to court. Ms. Stephenson was ultimately awarded at $6.5 million lump sum payment plus alimony; however, she believes that the judge undervalued her share of the marital assets and plans to appeal the ruling.

Ms. Stephenson's attorneys requested an alimony payment of $400,000 per month in order to help her maintain the lifestyle she enjoyed during the marriage. She was given $55,000 a month instead. After taxes, it comes out to just over $27,000 per month. While a prenuptial agreement was signed and upheld, it did state that spousal maintenance was negotiable. Only time will tell how this case turns out. 

While most Georgia residents who are going through the divorce process will not feel the need to appeal the rulings on their final settlements, sometimes it is the right move. It is normal to want to be treated fairly in the process and it can be hard to walk away with a settlement that leaves one feeling undervalued. With the assistance of an experienced attorney one can keep fighting for a fair settlement through the appeals process if doing so is deemed appropriate.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Ex-wife of Cancer Treatment Centers founder appeals multimillion-dollar divorce ruling", Amanda Marrazzo, Dec. 14, 2017

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