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Kaley Cuoco shouldn't have to pay Ryan Sweeting spousal support

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Ryan Sweeting's new request highlights multiple problems with spousal support

It hasn't even been a month since The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco announced she and husband Ryan Sweeting were splitting up, but it appears this divorce is already taking a contentious turn.

Despite signing a prenup, Sweeting just submitted his own divorce documents requesting spousal support. And that isn't the only detail suggesting these two are on different pages in regard to the divorce. Sweeting also filed a different date of separation than Cuoco — her divorce docs note Sept. 3, while his allege they separated on Sept. 25 (the day they announced their split to the press).

Here's the thing: I don't get it. Well, let me rephrase that. I do get why Sweeting, who reportedly only has a net worth of $2 million, would lodge such a request from Cuoco, who has garnered a net worth of around $45 million. Sweeting's motivation obviously starts with an "m," ends with a "y" and has "one" in the middle.

So, I suppose the more accurate phrasing here is that I simply don't understand it. Or agree with it.

Cuoco and Sweeting married on New Year's Eve in 2013, only three months after becoming engaged, which occurred after only three months of dating. Their courtship, much like their marriage, was short and — as far as we can tell — sweet. The two have no kids together, unless you count fur babies, in which case they have several.

Why, then, does Sweeting need spousal support? According to a quick Google search regarding the logic behind such requests, spousal support exists to prevent a divorced spouse from "suffering" a decrease in his or her standard of living. It is often used in instances where the seeking spouse has been out of the workforce for a while, and is therefore unable to maintain their lifestyle in the absence of their spouse's contributions.

Sweeting, who is a professional tennis player, has struggled with injuries over the last few years that have sidelined him. However, it appears these injuries were in play before he ever got involved with Cuoco. In 2011, he had climbed to an impressive ranking of No. 64. But by August of 2013 — only two months into his courtship with Cuoco — Sweeting had dropped to No. 518, largely due to having played only one match in 2013. As of August of this year, he had sunk further down in the rankings to No. 1145.

Cuoco's success during the couple's time together has eclipsed Sweeting's, true. She has been a supportive and nurturing wife, though, so it strikes me as unfair she should have to pay for that. Now, we obviously don't know the inner workings of their marriage, but sources claim part of the problem in the pair's marriage was simply that they are fundamentally different — she is high-energy with an unstoppable work drive, while he spent a lot of time at home and "acted down."

I hate to be a cynic, but I can't think of a legitimate reason that would merit Sweeting receiving monthly payments from his former wife. I'm not alone in feeling a bit perplexed by this, either. In fact, as we reported earlier, Cuoco's fans are downright miffed about it. The entire situation — Sweeting's request for spousal support, especially in light of the prenup — feels seedy.

Could Cuoco afford to shill out spousal support payments? Probably. 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.

Shouldn't there be some sort of cap on this — like a couple must be married for more than five years to seek spousal support? How is this even applicable, given the prenup? Will the downward trajectory of Sweeting's career prior to marrying Cuoco be considered?

I would hope so. To me, Sweeting's request for spousal support looks a lot like greed, a bitter shot at revenge or both. Am I way off base here?

Ryan Sweeting's new request highlights multiple problems with spousal support

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