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Celebrity Divorce – Comedian Chris Rock

Comedian Chris Rock and his wife, Malaak Compton-Rock, are divorcing after almost 20 years of marriage. Though the parties have already agreed upon a 50/50 custody split of their two children, they are still battling over financial issues. Chris Rock's wife seeking huge payout in divorce, by Julia Marsh and Priscilla Degregory, pagesix.com, June 15, 2015. Compton-Rock alleges that she gave up her career in public relations to become a full time mother to the former couple's two children and, thus, wants a large portion of Rock's $70 million fortune so she can maintain the lifestyle the couple enjoyed during their marriage.

If this case were in Georgia, the former couple's assets would be divided equitably, subject to equitable division, but not necessarily equally. Assuming the $70 million mentioned in the article was all earned by Rock during the marriage, it is a marital asset and Compton-Rock has a right to a portion of it. (Any portion earned by Rock prior to the marriage, however, would be his separate property to which she would not be entitled.) Whether she will receive half would be up to the Judge, and would depend on the particulars of their case, including the separate estate of each party.

Compton-Rock would likely have a good argument for receipt of alimony, however. Since she gave up her career, Rock is clearly the breadwinner in the family and, though his income likely fluctuates depending on what project he has going on, it is still likely substantial. Compton-Rock's argument that she wants to maintain the lifestyle they enjoyed during the marriage would be a great one in Georgia - one of the alimony factors the court will consider is the standard of living established during the marriage. O.C.G.A. § 19-6-5(a)(1). The court will also consider the age and physical and emotional condition of both parties. O.C.G.A. § 19-6-5(a)(3). This means that while it is likely that Compton-Rock would receive alimony in Georgia, the Judge may also determine that she is able to get a job and earn income, and award temporary alimony only.

Either way, with a marital estate of this size, it is very likely that both parties will come away from this divorce in a financially stable position. Since they have already agreed to share custody equally, hopefully this financial battle won't get too contentious and get in the way of their ability to co-parent.

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