Centuori & Alcoverde, P.C.

For most Arizona residents, the end of their marriage will not include discussions of how to divide millions of dollars. However, even when the financials are modest, the details of the divorce agreement are impactful to those involved. It is absolutely critical that the agreement that is signed has been checked and double checked to ensure that the contents are in line with what each spouse expects. Otherwise, one party could be deeply upset once the ink has dried and the deal is done.

As an example, recent media reports assert that actress Amber Heard is displeased with the outcome of her divorce to actor Johnny Depp. As part of the couple's settlement, Depp was to pay $7 million to two charities of Heard's choice. As soon as the divorce was made final, Depp wrote two checks: one to the American Civil Liberties Union and the other to the CHildren's Hospital of Los Angeles. The total of those checks? The agreed-upon $7 million.

Heard took issue with that, claiming that the intent was for Depp to come out-of-pocket for the full $7 million. As it stands, Depp's charitable contribution will bring him a tax deduction worth an estimated $3.5 million. Heard feels that Depp should have written checks for more, along the lines of $14 million, in order to bring the after-tax cost of the gifts more in line with $7 million.

Unfortunately for Heard, the divorce is now final and the payments have been made. That makes it incredibly unlikely that the matter will be revisited, even if she pursues the issue in court. Most Arizona spouses won't have multi-million dollar charitable gifts to contend with, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't check that each and every detail within their divorce settlement is in line with their expectations about the divorce.  

Source: Money, "Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, and Your Divorce", Lily Vasileff, Oct. 19, 2016

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