Just A Year After Their Youngest Child Turns 18
Famous rapper and entrepreneur Dr. Dre, real name Andre Young, and Nicole Young have just announced their divorce. The couple’s youngest child turned 18 in 2019. As a result, it is unlikely that child support will play a role in their divorce proceedings. Since Dre’s net worth in 2019 was $800 million, that will make a significant difference in the distribution of marital assets.
Andre and Nicole Young were married for 24 years. There appears to be no prenuptial agreement in place. Over the course of their marriage, Andre co-founded the famous headphone brand Beats by Dr. Dre. In 2014, Apple bought this headphone line for $3 billion, a quarter of which went to Andre.
The Young marriage entirely overlapped the time during with Andre Young was involved with the Beats line. As a result, the proceeds from the sale and the vast majority of Young’s net worth may be considered marital property.
In waiting to divorce until their children were legal adults, it’s probable that the Youngs significantly simplified their divorce. Child support and associated spousal support payments are a major factor in complicated divorce proceedings . By divorcing after child custody and support were no longer considerations, the Youngs’ divorce is likely to be decided quickly despite the assets involved.
How Is Child Support Decided
Child support is one of the most contentious issues in most divorces. Deciding who will take custody of the children and who will pay to support them is tricky even when the divorce is amicable. Since children as so often a complicating factor in divorces, there are guidelines in place for how these decisions are made.
First, if the couple agrees on how their custody and support payments will be handled, most courts will follow their wishes. As long as both members of the couple have access to attorneys, it’s assumed that they understand the ramifications of their decision. It’s best in this case that the agreement is ratified through a court order. That way, it may be enforceable, unlike an informal agreement.
If the couple has trouble coming to an agreement, then prenuptial agreements come into play. Child support and custody are often outlined in prenuptial agreements. In California, prenuptial agreements are enforceable. So, if one exists, it is likely that the judge will take it into consideration in the divorce.
If no prenuptial agreement exists and the divorcing couple does not agree on custody and support, then the judge overseeing the divorce makes the decision. According to California law, judged are supposed to decide child custody and support based on the best interest of the child.
To do this, the judge considers:
- The child’s age,
- The child’s health,
- The depth of emotional connection between the child and both parents,
- The parents’ respective abilities to take care of the child,
- Any potential dangers to the child, such as drug abuse or violence,
- The child’s connection to a home, school, or community.
With these factors taken into account, the judge will award custody to one or both parents as they see fit. It’s likely that the parent with less custody over the child will be ordered to pay child support to relieve the burden on the custodial parent.
In California, unlike some other states, courts are required to follow strict guidelines in awarding child support. These guidelines take into account both parents’ incomes and current assets along with spousal support payments. It also takes into consideration how much time the child spends with either parent. Crucially, payments rely on the amount of disposable income the higher earning parent has. While child support may not be particularly high in low-asset divorces, in high-asset divorces it can skyrocket.
Child Support in High-Asset Divorces
In high-asset divorces, child support can be a significant point of contention. Not only is there the question of who will keep custody of the children, there’s also the question of how child support should affect the division of assets.
Since child support takes all types of income into account, including investment and patent proceeds, the division of these assets can seriously affect child support payments. In cases where one parent retains control over an income-producing asset, the court is obliged to take that into account during child support decisions. Navigating the division of assets in this situation requires a deep understanding of both finances and the law.
Similarly, child support payments take spousal support into consideration. If the lower-income partner receives spousal support, that payment is subtracted from the child support. As spousal support in California has no specified end date, the lower-income partner can push to have a spousal support order instead of child support. That results in the lower-income partner receiving more money in the long run. Spousal support relies on a judge’s discretion. It can be as high as 40% of the higher-earning spouse’s monthly income.
It currently appears that Nicole and Andre Young will not be working out a spousal support agreement . The majority of the assets in the relationship are marital assets, and Andre’s income is a small part of the total value in the relationship. Instead, they will be splitting the marital assets and walking away.
This can also help speed up the divorce process. Spousal support payments in high-asset divorces can easily exceed six figure payments. Because of this, spousal support is often contested, both during the divorce and afterwards. By avoiding the issue, the Youngs will probably cut the time their divorce proceedings take down to the bare minimum.
Objectivity’s Value in High-Asset Divorces
Not every divorce goes as smoothly as the Youngs’. Often, divorces occur after trust has been broken or disagreements have reached a breaking point. In that case, it may not be possible to delay a divorce until child support has stopped being a consideration.
That’s why it’s crucial to work with an experienced family law attorney when navigating a high-asset divorce. They are available to help you work out a fair child support agreement, regardless of your assets. There are dozens of factors that can complicate a divorce – as the Youngs have shown, child support doesn’t have to be one of them.