(FORTUNE Magazine) – Jack Welch must be cursing the day he moved to Connecticut. His wife Jane's take in the divorce proceedings (which recently began after she passed on an offer of $20 million of his estimated $900 million fortune) will hinge on the state's "equitable distribution" laws, says Hartford divorce attorney Carlo Forzani. Unlike in community property states, Connecticut judges award settlements based on factors like a marriage's duration, who earned the paychecks, and the lifestyle of each partner. And the ritzy state is used to big payouts. Worse for Jack, "every asset, regardless of who holds the title, is technically marital," Forzani says. Clearly, Jack--and any other executive facing a bigtime divorce--would be better served elsewhere. But where? Brett Turner, a senior attorney at the National Legal Research Group, gave us his (admittedly subjective) take on how states rate on divorce.
Texas: Jack would love the Lone Star State, which has never recognized alimony, though it does allow for very limited "spousal maintenance" payments if a husband or wife is clearly in need ("needing" a jet doesn't count).
Indiana: "Normally, three years of alimony is all you get," Turner says. That's a "phenomenal advantage" for rich executives.
Massachusetts: The liberal home of Smith College has a history of giving big awards to women.
California: Fifty-fifty is the law. And with celebrity divorces the norm, you won't get laughed out of court for claiming to need a carload of cash.