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Burt Reynolds' spousal support debt is 21 years old

What does one spouse owe another after a marriage ends? An Ohio spouse may be ordered to pay temporary or extended alimony to a former husband or wife. Financial need is the deciding factor, not gender, although ex-wives rather than ex-husbands traditionally have made up the greater portion of recipients.

Actors Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson were married for five years and divorced in 1993. However, the one-time couple's financial issues from the divorce still have not been resolved. Twenty-one years after their formal split, Reynolds still owes his former wife more than $154,000.

Saying the divorce was contentious would be an understatement. The spouses traded accusations of infidelity and domestic abuse. In the end, Reynolds agreed to pay Anderson about $234,000 and whittled the debt down to $97,000 by the 1990s.

Reynolds' finances then took a turn for the worse. The celebrity filed for bankruptcy and simultaneously failed to fulfill the remaining post-marital financial promise to Anderson. The star lost his home to foreclosure in 2011.

A judge recently ordered Reynolds to pay the overdue debt. The amount owed to the former "WKRP in Cincinnati" actress, now 68, contains a considerable amount of interest because Reynolds ignored the financial obligation. Reports didn't say whether the "Smokey and the Bandit" star ever sought to have the agreement modified.

Spousal support may be ordered when Columbus spouses' financial conditions are significantly dissimilar upon divorce – one spouse is in need of post-marital support and the other has the means to provide it. Terms of support depend upon how long a marriage lasted, spousal health issues and individual earning abilities. Courts also consider the value of efforts during marriage by one spouse to support the other's educational or professional goals.

Failing to deal with spousal support underpayment doesn't make the problem go away. Attorneys provide legal solutions to resolve alimony issues rather than intensify them.

Source: New York Post, "Burt Reynolds still owes ex Loni Anderson $150K" Bryan Hood, Jul. 18, 2014

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