Giada De Laurentiis's California Divorce Settlement

Giada De Laurentiis is a famous cook with her own television shows on the Food Network cable channel. In 2003, she married fashion designer Todd Thompson. In 2008, the couple had their only child, daughter Jade Marie De Laurentiis-Thompson. In July of 2014, the couple separated and six months later, filed for divorce in California. On September 3, 2015, the divorce was finalized and their marital settlement agreement became public information.

Per their marital settlement agreement, they will share custody of their daughter, and De Laurentiis will pay Thompson $9,000 a month for child support.

They will also divide their community assets as follows:

Thompson will receive 50 percent of De Laurentiis’s upcoming, yet-to-be-paid advances for her projects such as, $2.5 million for Giada at Home and Weeknights with Giada and $2.3 million for Giada Feel Good Food. He will receive half of over $2.3 million in their bank accounts and art and home furnishings; maintain membership to the Bel-Air Bay Club; and keep their $3.2 million Pacific Palisades home. He will also receive full ownership of his Porsche.

De Laurentiis will retain her production company, Linguine Pictures and have exclusive rights to GDL Foods, Inc. Thompson will have no claim to the cookbook she is currently writing. She also will receive full ownership of her Porsche.

According to celebrity website TMZ, both parties are rich in their own right, and neither will receive spousal support from the other party. De Laurentiis is said to be worth about $20 million, and Thompson is said to be worth approximately $15 million.

The California Family Code states that, “…except as otherwise provided by statute, community property is all property acquired by a married person during marriage…”, and each spouse has a 50 percent ownership interest in that community property. Upon divorce (known legally as dissolution of marriage in California), community property is to be divided equitably between the parties.

This case is a good example of equitably separating property via dissolution of marriage. It also disapproves the myth that if a marriage lasts over ten years in California, one party must pay the other party spousal support. Spousal support is only awarded if one spouse needs it to maintain his/her marital life style and the other party has the ability to pay it. Here, both parties have the means to continue their current life styles, and neither needs spousal support from the other party.

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