A short and sweet courtship for Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting turned into a short, but apparently not so sweet, marriage, and now the former Mr. Cuoco wants to live off his soon-to-be ex-wife’s ample fortune.
The disparity in income is pretty significant, according to figures from CBS News. Kaley’s net worth is about $45 million, while Ryan’s is a paltry $2 million. Still, one attorney thinks his request for alimony will fail.
Last month, Cuoco filed for divorce from the tennis player — who’s currently ranked 1,145 — citing irreconcilable differences. It came as a surprise to the public, since Kaley publicly gushed about her romance, the New York Daily News noted.
And their romance was a swift and passionate one — they dated for three months, then were engaged for another three, before getting married on New Year’s Eve in 2013. In the end, they were married a mere 20 months.
Kaley and Ryan announced their divorce on September 25 — they’d separated three weeks before. According to people close to the doomed couple, the end of their romance was inevitable. One source told People they expressed “noticeable tension” a couple weeks before the divorce.
“The few times Kaley and Ryan were out together recently, the tension was noticeable. You could tell the honeymoon phase had ended. It seemed they were trying to work out their marriage by going on dates, but they both seemed miserable.”
Other sources have said the two were very different: she high-energy and ambitious, he a homebody who “acted down.”
Rumors have circulated about the cause, from a now-debunked affair with Big Bang Theory co-star and on-screen husband Johnny Galecki, to Sweeting’s abuse of painkillers, which he used to treat injuries that have kept him off the tennis court.
With the announcement that Sweeting has now filed paperwork to get a monthly stipend from Kaley, many people are raising their eyebrows. He’s also asked the court to prohibit Cuoco from getting spousal support from him.
Kaley and her beau had signed a prenuptial agreement before their hasty nuptials.
Note to Ryan Sweeting who wants alimony from Kaley Cuoco : Get a job! Also some self-respect. She owes you nothing. https://t.co/viQQ2kKe37— Media On Media (@Media_On_Media) October 19, 2015
It’s understandable why Ryan would seek spousal support from Kaley. First, there’s the aforementioned discrepancy in income between the two, with Cuoco as the significantly richer party. But SheKnows writer Julie Sprankles has questioned his motivation, especially since he doesn’t seem to meet the criteria to be granted spousal support.
Spousal support, or alimony, is meant to limit “unfair economic effects of a divorce” by granting a non-wage-earning or lower-wage-earning spouse continuing income. The reason for this: one spouse may have abandoned her career to raise a family (Kaley didn’t have any kids with her ex) and after the divorce, can’t financially support herself right away. Alimony gives the less-wealthy spouse time to develop job skills. Another purpose of alimony: to allow the less-well-off partner continue to enjoy the standard of living she got used to during the union.
Sweeting isn’t without a career — he’s a pro tennis player, albeit one whose injuries have keep him off the court. But SheKnows pointed out that he had these problems before marrying Cuoco. In 2013, when he was courting Kaley, he played only one match; by this year, his ranking dropped from a high of 64 in 2011 to a depressing 1,145.
“Should Cuoco afford to shill out spousal support payments? Probably,” Sprankles wrote. “Should she have to? No. She has worked hard to earn her sizable salary. She didn’t go into the marriage blindly; she drew up a prenup for this very eventuality. She was realistic that in the end, the sum of her marriage may come down to monetary assets, and it’s sad that Sweeting is proving her right.”
She’s likely to be right. Attorney Marilyn Chinitz told ABC News that chances are, he won’t get a thing, though men asking their ex-wives for alimony is becoming more common as women make more money.
“He himself is a wealthy man and the court is not likely to award support. They’re more likely to enforce the terms of the prenuptial agreement.”
What do you think? Should Kaley Cuoco shell out the cash to her former beau?
[Photo Courtesy Jason Merritt / Getty Images]