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Celebrity Family Law – Mel B and Stephen Belafonte…again!

The highly-contested divorce between Mel B and Stephen Belafonte does not appear to be reaching a conclusion anytime soon. In the most recent filing in the case, Mel B is fighting Belafonte’s request for emergency spousal support. Mel B: I’m Not Paying My Ex $4K/month To Eat! Tell Him to Get a Job!, tmz.com, June 22, 2017. Specifically, Belafonte is requesting $4,300/month for food and groceries, $2,000/month for clothing, $11,000/month for housing, and $750/month for his cell phone.

In her response to request for emergency spousal support, Mel B methodically attacks each of his alleged expenses one by one. For the food and groceries, she breaks it down to show that he is asking for $140/day to eat. While $4,300/month sounds like a lot as a whole, when you break it down daily it is certainly an exorbitant and unnecessary expense. As to the clothing allowance, Mel B counters that he took his entire wardrobe when he moved out of the marital home. Thus, there may be some need for a clothing allowance, but likely not the level that he is requesting. For his housing expenses, Mel B says he is currently staying with friends so his expenses are not nearly this high. If he does move out on his own, however, there will be some sort of expense, but likely not the extent to which he is asking. Finally, Mel B attacks his $750/month cell phone bill saying this is a ridiculous amount for Belafonte’s one phone.

The way Mel B and her attorneys have attacked each line item on Belafonte’s spousal support claim is a great way to handle a case like this. Rather than simply saying that the total amount is too high and countering with a lower amount, Mel B addresses each alleged expense individually to show that Belafonte’s alleged “needs” are unreasonable and not supported by the facts of the case. This tactic is much more likely to be successful than a general statement that he does not need that much, as it will help show the Judge exactly what he does need to help that Judge reach a decision as to a reasonable amount of spousal support.

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