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Huge differences await resolution in property division dispute

You have probably seen commercials for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America on one of the TV stations broadcasting in Butler County. The five-hospital chain is at the center of a property division and spousal support dispute that lingers even after its founder, Robert Stephenson, and his former wife, Alicia, divorced earlier this year.

They could hardly be further apart in their views of what would be fair in their split. She is asking a court to award her $400,000 per month in alimony, plus a share of other assets. He is asking the court to limit her to $5,000 per month.

The family law attorney for Alicia Stephenson says the former model was an active part of building Robert's fortune estimated now at several billion dollars. The couple was married in 1991 in a five-day celebration on his sprawling estate in McHenry County, Illinois.

She moved out of the estate two years ago.

While married, Alicia "lived in a celebrity lifestyle," her lawyer recently told a court, arguing for spousal support that would maintain that lifestyle.

Robert's lawyers argue that a prenuptial agreement should be enforced. In that agreement signed by both spouses, she agreed to $5,000 per month in alimony plus $250,000 toward the purchase of a new house.

According to a newspaper report, the trial will resolve the distribution of 10 properties to which Alicia claims ownership.

She and her attorney say that Robert has hidden assets and refuses to turn over documents that would make his vast holdings clear.

We do not know how their dispute will be resolved by the judge, but we do know that it usually makes more financial sense to settle property division disputes outside of court. When that is impossible, a family law attorney experienced in property division litigation can help you protect your rights and assets.

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