Shaq’s California Separation Highlights Residency Issues

Word that basketball star Shaquille O’Neal’s wife Va’shaundya filed Los Angeles family court papers seeking a California legal separation last week may have come as a bit of a surprise. Most people thought the O’Neals lived in Florida (Shaq played with the NBA’s Miami Heat from 2004-2008, but now plays for Cleveland).

According to a report in People magazine, Va’shaundya flew to California and declared herself a resident of the state on November 8, a day before her lawyers filed the California legal separation papers in Los Angeles family court. California’s community property divorce laws are significantly more generous than those of Florida. Further complicating matters, the couple is widely reported to have a prenuptial agreement.

As is so often the case with celebrity family law the numbers may differ from those the rest of us deal with (Shaq reportedly makes $21 million per season playing basketball and as much or more from product endorsements), but the concepts at issue are really little different.

An experienced Orange County family law firm can offer invaluable advice if your spouse, when preparing for a Orange County divorce or legal separation, decides to go venue-shopping. The end of a marriage or long-term relationship is difficult enough without having to cope with additional stress brought on by questionable tactics related to residency or similar California family law issues.

California child custody questions often come into play in these situations as well. Va’shaundya O’Neal is seeking sole custody of the couple’s four children (all of whom are under age 9), according to People. An Orange County child custody lawyer can offer advice on how residency issues in a California divorce impact Orange County child custody questions.

People: Shaquille O’Neal’s Wife Files for Separation