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September 16, 2020

Dr. Dre’s wife, Nicole Young, filed for divorce on June 29th in California after 24 years of marriage and two children.  The couple signed Prenuptial Agreement, but Ms. Young is attempting to “get out” of the agreement, claiming she was pressured to sign close to the wedding date and she and Dr. Dre tore the agreement up shortly after the wedding.  Regardless if Ms. Young’s argument reaches the “light of day’, she requested a monthly maintenance aligned with Dr. Dre’s estimated worth of $800 million.  

Ms. Young requested $1,936,399 a month to cover her expenses. Allegedly, she spends: 1) $10,000 a month in laundry and cleaning  2) $135,000 a month on clothing; 3) $100,000 a month in mortgages; 4) $20,000 a month for telephone, cell phone and e-mail service; and last, but not least, 5) $900,000 a month in entertainment.  Dr. Dre stated he continues covering Ms. Young’s expenses while she residences at their Malibu home. 

In light of a global pandemic, would this type of request fly in the State of Illinois?

 Hot takes:

  1. In Illinois a litigant could argue for Ms. Young level maintenance citing sufficient income and assets available to both parties and future earning capacity and impairment. Additionally, a litigant could contend the maintenance is a standard of living established during their marriage. 
  2. Under the maintenance statute (750 ILCS 5/504), Dr. Dre’s income level is not an appropriate guideline for maintenance, therefore, taking 33% of his net annual income minus 25% of Ms. Young’s net annual income would not be the formula utilized.
  3. In Illinois, if the temporary maintenance request went to hearing and does not “settle,” when deviating from the guidelines, the court is required to give a reason for the variance. During a global pandemic and with most of the entertainment industry shut down, Ms. Young may have an uphill battle proving the need for these expenses, but one thing she can count on is the amount of wealth and lifestyle  she and Dr. Dre created. 
  4. Dr. Dre once said, “The only two things that scare me are God and the IRS.” He may need to modify that quote to include “my soon-to-be ex-wife” at the end of that sentence.

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