Suzanne Hinn, the wife of high-profile pastor Benny Hinn, has filed for divorce. The famous televangelist is one of the best known advocates of the prosperity gospel. He travels the globe advocating his teachings that Christians are right with god. He has various TV broadcasts which are viewed by many of his Christian followers daily. Although it is unknown how much money Benny earns or how the money he raises is spent, it has been said that his ministry is a 'multimillion dollar operation'. The court documents make no mention of the parties' finances however, there were three different California home addresses listed as the family property.
The couple separated on January 26, 2010 after 30 years of marriage. The court documents were filed in Orange County on February 1, 2010 stating 'irreconcilable differences'. We do not know whether the parties have any children.
If the couple lived in Ontario...
Division of Property
Given that the parties were married, an equalization payment would be sought in Ontario in order to divide the parties' assets. Suzanne and Benny would have to account for all the property they acquired during the marriage, including the three homes noted in the court documents. Both parties will need to calculate the value of assets they have on leaving the marriage less any debts and liabilities, less the value of the assets they had upon entering the marriage (this may be subject to certain exceptions ie. a gift.)
The party who's Net Family Property is the lesser of the two, is entitled to one-half of the difference between them. In this case, given Benny's 'multimillion dollar operation' we can assume that he will likely owe Suzanne an equalization payment. For more information regarding equalization please click here.
If Benny and Suzanne entered into a marriage contract (also known as a prenuptial agreement) prior to separation, it would allow the parties to contract out of an equalization, however, the contract may be unenforceable if the court finds that it is unreasonable.
In Ontario, spousal support is fact-specific. Parties are entitled to spousal support where they are in need of same and this is determined based upon numerous factors such as the means and needs of the spouses upon separation, their ages, education and employability, the length of the marriage, the roles the individuals played during the marriage, and the consequences of the breakdown of the marriage. Suzanne will need to demonstrate an entitlement to support. In this case, we do not know whether Suzanne was working during the course of the parties' marriage. We can assume that even if she is employed and self-sufficient, Benny still earns a significantly higher income then Suzanne. Given the length of the parties' marriage (as it is considered a long-term marriage) and the factors noted above, Benny may have a duty to support Suzanne for an indefinite period.