Besides the rhyme between his name and his liability, there is nothing nice about paying a monthly alimony of over 1 million Euros, to a woman whose association he had contracted under a marriage.
The award was based on granting an award commensurate with the “life style” of the spouse out of the ‘marital assets’.
Wtf is ‘ marital assets’? It is the net assets in the hands of both the spouses on the day they decide to terminate their marriage minus the assets held by each spouse prior to their marriage – or so I’d like to imagine.
This disregards the individual contribution to the wealth created after marriage and lumps it all together as marital assets. A formula which discounts individual initiative and enterprise. Berlusconi was a media Mogul much before he contracted the marriage which went awry; he was an entrepreneur of success much before his wedding. But his spouse had chosen to depart based on reasons which the courts in Italy have found to be sufficient. But when alimony is demanded the courts were guided by the doctrine of not paying ‘subsistence’ for the spouse of lesser means, but had been guided by ‘accustomed standard of living’ of the spouse who claims alimony.
I find this doctrine strange as the alimony awarded is not dependant on the payer spouse’ future earnings, which may rise or fall. It puts a pressure on the payer spouse to keep up his ’emi’ outflow by hook or by crook.
A greater injustice is that if the payer spouse has chosen to contract another marriage, he starts off with half of the marital assets to take care of his future family, whereas, if the payee spouse is a female, she not only finds another nest built by another entrepreneur with no decrease in her monthly alimony accruals!
Seems good to have a xx chromosome, as it is one leg of the x is truncated and the other is made is hobble around carrying the weight of an ex! Seems grossly unfair.
Now the courts have made a slight departure- a return to sanity. It says: ALIMONIES SHOULD NOT GUARANTEE PREVIOUS STANDARD OF LIVING!
When there is no guarantee the the paying divorcee wouldn’t be able to guarantee his own lifestyle, how on earth could the courts have given credence to such a proposition?
Whether it was Elizabeth Taylor who paid alimony to her plumber spouse or it be Berlusconi, the issue should be decided on equanimity if not on equality.
A one time settlement would have been fairer as there would be an additional responsibility cast on the payee divorcee to handle her/ his assets with care so that they also would get to feel the pinch of the difficulties of keeping one’s assets secure from those preying wolves, in the garb of asset mangers.
I think the courts are returning to evenhanded doctrine instead of a gender driven policy of making Peter pay Paul, for the flamboyant luxuries of Paul .