Los Angeles — Lisa Marie Presley will not have to pay spousal support to her estranged husband while they fight over her assets, but she will have to pay some of his attorney's fees, a judge ruled on Wednesday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patrick Cathcart ordered Presley to pay $50k to the lawyer representing her estranged husband, Michael Lockwood. It comes days after Presley filed court documents stating she is deeply in debt and their 8-year-old twin daughters are subject to a child welfare case.
The order does not affect the couple's children, who are in the care of Presley's mother, Priscilla. No details about the children were discussed in court. A trial in children's court is scheduled for March.
Presley, 49, is the only child of Elvis Presley and ex-wife of both Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage.
Challenging the validity of a marriage agreement
Lockwood is challenging the validity of an agreement he signed after marrying Presley in 2006 that would govern how much he is entitled to in a divorce. He had been seeking $40k a month in spousal support, but Cathcart said the unemployed musician would have to wait until after a trial on the agreement.
Lockwood's attorney, Jeff Sturman, argued that Presley had not proven she was deeply in debt and had received an average of $5.6m in payouts from her father's estate, according to her most recent tax returns.
Presley's lawyer, Mark Gross, contended that Presley has not paid $1m in taxes she owed last year, is deeply in debt on a property in England and didn't receive the big payout from the estate last year that she has received in previous years.
Lockwood "has no money with which to live," Sturman argued. Leaving him without money from Presley "just leaves Mr. Lockwood in this continuing state of poverty."
Lockwood gave up his career and worked for Presley before their breakup, according to court documents.
Gross contended that Lockwood hasn't been looking for work and should apply to be a music teacher or work at Guitar Centre.
A messy breakup
Presley and Lockwood both appeared in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom for Wednesday's hearing but did not appear to speak to each other. They separated in June after 10 years of marriage.
Their breakup has grown messy in recent weeks, with Presley disclosing her money trouble. She also said in court filings that she has been living with her adult daughter and has been in a treatment facility for undisclosed reasons since moving from Tennessee to California last year.
She contends the children's court proceeding was initiated after she discovered photos and "disturbing" videos on her husband's computer. Sturman has said the allegations are "highly sensational" and inaccurate."
Priscilla Presley tried to allay fans' concerns about the legal issues and well-being of the twins in a Facebook post on Sunday.
"There is lots of confusion, commotion and concern from all the talk circulating," she wrote. "Let me put this to rest ... the girls have not been in foster care and never will be. The girls have been with me and will be until all this is sorted out."