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Funk musician embroiled in alimony dispute

Atlanta readers may be familiar with the work of funk musician George Clinton. The musician has performed frequently at state venues such as Atlanta's Hose of Blues and for events like the Music Midtown Festival. The musician is once again in the news, but this time it's not to promote an upcoming performance. Rather, the musician is currently going through a divorce of his wife of 23 years.

According to one report, the proceeding has stalled over an alimony dispute. His soon-to-be former spouse is seeking both temporary and permanent alimony. In fact, she has requested discovery of his finances, so that the divorce court will have an accurate picture of the musician's wealth.

However, Clinton believes that request to be inappropriate, for several reasons: the couple has not lived together for many years, they do not have children, and they've kept their bank accounts and real estate property separate.

Clinton's assertion may have legal significance. If a judge agrees that the couple's long-term separation qualifies as a legal separation, any property acquired after the separation might not be considered part of the marital estate. The judge will likely also be interested in each spouse's standard of living during the long-term separation.

In addition, a legal separation might affect alimony considerations. In a typical divorce proceeding, temporary alimony is awarded to a lower-earning or non-earning spouse until the proceeding is finalized, and permanent alimony is awarded as a way of acknowledging that individual's contributions to the marriage and marital estate. However, the rationale behind alimony may not be present in situations where couples were in a long-term separation. An experienced alimony lawyer will be up to date on the latest arguments in this area of divorce law.

Source:, "George Clinton's Divorce Takes Ugly Turn, Wife Demands Alimony," Ruth Manuel-Logan, March 19, 2013

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