How to Get Away with Divorce: Liza Weil v. Paul Adelstein

Liza Weil, star of the hit series How to Get Away with Murder, recently filed for divorce from her husband Paul Adelstein, a star in his own right, after nine years of marriage. Weil and Adelstein have one child who was age 5 when they separated in January of 2016.

Weil and Adelstein are both successful actors and have both appeared on television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Law & Order: SVU, and Scandal. Weil started out in 1994 on Nickelodeon's The Adventures of Pete & Pete and, prior to How to Get Away with Murder, she had built her career and a net worth of approximately $3,000,000.00, by acting in popular television shows such as The West Wing, ER, Gilmore Girls, and CSI. Adelstein is also well known in the acting world from his roles in Private Practice, Prison Break, and Bedazzled and his roles have helped him build his net worth of approximately $2,000,000.00.

Rumour has it that Weil and Adelstein may agree on joint custody of their daughter and they will be working out remaining details such as support through mediation. Despite having both played numerous confrontational roles on television, this couple appears to be heading toward a conflict-free resolution of all of their matrimonial matters.

For many separating couples, the issue of support can be the next most difficult thing to negotiate after issues of custody and parenting of the children of the relationship. Fortunately, family law in Ontario paves the way for couples to minimize conflict like Weil and Adelstein did when settling their family law matters. For example, the use of child support Tables set out in the Federal Child Support Guidelines to determine child support obligations based on province of residence, number of children, and income of the support payor reduces the need for couples to negotiate and argue about a fair amount of child support because the basic table amounts are predetermined.

If Weil and Adelstein resided in Ontario and each had their daughter 50% of the time, under section 9 of the Ontario's Family Law Act, the starting point for determining child support is the set-off approach which involves considering the amount of support each parent would owe the other in Table support. In this case, Weil would owe Table support to Adelstein in the amount of $2,817.00 per month based on her income of approximately $360,000.00 and Adelstein would owe Table support to Weil in the amount of $2,281.11 per month based on his approximate annual income of $339,582.00. The person owing the larger amount of support, Weil in this case, would then owe the other person the difference between the two amounts.

Based on the set-off approach, Weil would pay Adelstein $534.28 in monthly child support, however, section 9 also provides that the increase in cost of living in a shared custody arrangement may be considered in addition to other factors such as the conditions, means, needs, and other circumstances of each of the parties and the child. This part of the analysis is fact-specific and may warrant an amount of child support different from the set-off amount if a party has the added expense of purchasing the second set of toys, cloths, and other household items necessary to ensure that the child will have a similar quality of living at both parents' homes. A different amount may also be warranted if, for example, one party has greater expenses due to a medical condition or other dependants he or she must support.

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