High End Divorce Strategies

‘Dr. Dre vs. Spousal Support’: High End Divorce Strategies


My sister recently sent me an article, the title read:

Dr. Dre ordered to pay Ex-Wife Nicole Young $3.5M a year in spousal support


Considering my love for Dr. Dre the artist, my love for all things hip-hop and the divorce tea of it all….I said, hmmm, let me take a read. The article was about legendary, hip-hop producer and artist, Dr. Dre, his estranged wife of 24 years, Mrs. Nicole Young, Esq. and their on-going divorce pending in California. The judge in their case recently made a ruling that Dr. Dre is ordered to pay Mrs. Young $293,306 per month in spousal support, times 12 months equals over $3.5 million dollars. The order ALSO requires Dr. Dre to maintain bill payment on their various properties.

The article states further that Mrs. Young’s initial request was for $2 million dollars each month, or $24 million per year.

The topic of Dr. Dre’s recently ordered spousal support ruling was a HOT topic in these internet streets, especially amongst men who were clutching their chest (wallets) like Mrs. Young was coming directly for their coins. It was a sight to see.

Well, unclutch your pearls my friends. It is helpful to understand, this is a very high asset and high net worth marital estate and a long term, 24-year marriage, things run a little differently and the figures have more zeros—buckle up and take notes.

While I am not licensed to practice in California and have no professional tie to the Dr. Dre divorce proceeding, I have a keen familiarity with high end divorces and the many equities to be weighed. Things to consider:

Also, you have to query, is she paying her counsel via her spousal support or does he have to pay them along the way? If she does, that further diminishes her monthly spendable income.

  1. $,$$$,$$$,$$$– Dr. Dre is earning a very high monthly income. He is prolific in hip-hop for having a production credit for the likes of Eminem, Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg, owner of Death Row Records, founder of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics etc. His intellectual property ownership in his catalog is an ongoing cash producing asset that he owns, unless sold or assigned to someone else. There’s a whole lotta money at play here. Billions, now and into the future. I can assume that since she asked for $2 million per month, she at least believes he is earning $4 million per month, or $48,000,000 annually– $3.5 million looks a little different next to that figure. It’s about the proportion, not about the number.
  2. This ruling is an INTERIM or temporary in nature– The divorce is not final, there is much yet to be agreed upon or decided. This Order represents the law of their land while the case is pending, however the amount the spousal support Dr. Dre is ordered to pay now is not determinative of what it will be in the end. Nor is the court is bound to order this figure if the parties don’t agree and head to trial. Recall, Mrs. Young’s initial request for spousal support was for $2 million per month. This negotiation is on-going.
  3. Modification of Order-The ruling is subject to modification if anything substantial changes in either parties needs or the overall income while the case is pending; either party can petition for modification.
  4. Pre-Nuptial Agreement Challenged– While Dr. Dre and Mrs. Young signed a pre-nuptial agreement prior to wedding, Mrs. Young has asserted a challenge to the validity of that document. Often, whether or not the terms of pre-nup will stand is a question of fact that has to be decided by a court hearing. Much money can be spent just on litigating the validity/invalidity of pre-nuptial agreement that may stand or may fail. Litigants have to decide if it’s worth it. Parties often decide based on the size of the estate compared to what is being offered. Either way, the underlying divorce still has to finalize after a ruling on pre-nuptial agreement validity. The challenge itself maybe a strategy to put pressure to him to bump up his offer(s). Smart move.
  5. Property Awarded v. Spousal Support– In high end divorces reaching an equitable or fair settlement is often done via a hybrid of assets and income awarded. A party may decide to part with a valuable asset in totality, rather than having to pay anything monthly. Other parties may opt for a hybrid of asset and support based on their unique asset/debt/income portfolio. Lots of stuff = Lots of options. We love a clever settlement.
  6. Attorney Fees– this is key piece of any divorce case that must be understood early in the case. Be mindful of ALL attorney and expert fees accruing in your case. Not just the fees accrued by your attorney, you must also be aware that the attorney fees and or expert fees accrued by the other side. These accruals are ALSO a debt or payment of the marital estate. Even if you are 1000% right, as people say, on a particular point you can still LOSE if you have paid more for your day in court than you will ever get back in a court ruling.

Bottom line, divorce cases are not fungible. Each case presents its own set of facts and factors that affect how you posture yourself and maximize your results. Divorce is a science. Being legal self-aware of what YOU want in the end is the key to negotiating more effectively.  You deserve so you can get back to living your life without court dates looming.

How does The Tuke Firm assist our High-End Divorce Clients:

  • Evaluate– a purported pre-nuptial agreement with a fine-tooth comb with client and evaluate the terms and conditions of entry into the agreement
  • Flat Fee Retainer in Stages– 17 years of high end divorce experience has given insight in how to charge fair flat fee based upon clearly defined case stages
  • Protect Status Quo– Make sure there is an interim or status quo order in place as early as possible to avoid any financial game playing or draining of assets while discovery is ongoing.
  • Discovery Time– Let’s dig, shall we!? This time is our fun time. Analyzing financial statements reveals lots of useful information. Let’s find those assets and sources of income!
  • Other Experts– Businesses and other high value assets, at times, require expert handling to ensure the other side isn’t under or overvaluing a key piece of the estate. Don’t just trust their person. The Tuke Firm works with the best in the industry.
  • Communications– regular client communications to make sure our client is safe, able to conduct business as usual and the team knows if anything significant changes along the way
  • Negotiate– this is Esse’s strong suit. Synthesizing information. She knows your case and knows where and when to leverage your case. The organized prep leading up to this point is what sets this firm apart. We are fighting for you every step of the way.
  • Trial– If all efforts to agree upon a fair conclusion have been exhausted, Esse Tuke will be ready to prepare for and try your case before the Judge, vigorously seeking your desired divorce outcome.

Esse Tuke, supported by the stellar 2KTeam, puts years of experience into practice with an array of legal tech tools to organize the details of your complex estate. We properly position you for interim support matters and craft a litigation strategy to protect what matters most. High end divorces take meticulous planning and execution because of the many different asset types needed different handling, that is what we DO, well.

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