April 09, 2020

Maine’s highest court to rule on Kirstie Alley’s divorce

PORTLAND — Lingerie maven Kirstie Alley already has her California divorce from “Hardy Boys” has-been Parker Stevenson. Now it’s up to a Maine court to decide where the couple should split their assets.

Alley, the star of NBC’s “Veronica’s Closet,” would be better off with divorce proceedings in Maine, where only wealth acquired during the marriage is contested. Under California’s community property laws, the couple would be required to divide assets equally.

But her plan was foiled in July, when Justice Susan Calkins dismissed the Maine divorce action in Waldo County Superior Court, noting that Alley’s primary residence is in California — not Maine, where she owns two houses on Islesboro in Penobscot Bay. Calkins, who did rule that Alley was a resident of Maine, cited the actress’s NBC commitment as one of the reasons it would be impractical to hear the case in Maine.

Alley’s lawyer, Kenneth Altshuler, on Monday appealed to Maine’s highest court to reverse the earlier ruling.

“Ms. Alley has the right to bring a divorce and custody dispute in her home state,” Altshuler told the Supreme Judicial Court. “It’s going to be inconvenient wherever they are.”

Altshuler said his client, who did not attend the hearing, has no problem getting a divorce and child custody through the California courts, but she wants the assets divided in Maine.

When Chief Justice Daniel Wathen asked if the case was driven by alimony and property division, Altshuler said, “Not at all. The Maine law may not even be beneficial to her.”

But Stevenson’s lawyer, Michael Asen, didn’t buy that, suggesting instead that the case is only about money.

“Kirstie Alley gets her divorce in California and then comes to Maine for the split. That’s what they call win-win,” he said.

A California judge granted Alley and Stevenson a divorce on Dec. 16. She is technically single now. “It just tips the scale one more pound against having this case in Maine,” Asen said.

Alley does have a Maine driver’s license and has filed her taxes in Maine, but Asen said that doesn’t determine where her world is.

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