California and Texas Divorce Petitions Raise Jurisdiction Questions for Longoria, Parker

Last week, just as the rest of the country was preparing to take a few days off for Thanksgiving, word broke of a divorce filing by a celebrity couple who had seemed to be headed in that direction for some time: Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria and her husband, the NBA’s Tony Parker.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Parker filed a divorce petition in Texas (where he plays basketball for the San Antonio Spurs) “two days after she filed for divorce from him in California. As the paper notes differences in divorce law in the two states could have a profound effect both on the speed of the divorce and on the final nature of the couple’s settlement.

As Sandra Bullock showed earlier this year, an uncontested divorce can be arranged very quickly in Texas. The Times notes, however, that “Texas has no allowance for alimony” and figures spousal support differently than we do here in California. The celebrity website quoted a source in Parker’s camp to the effect that the NBA star’s filing was a protective action after Longoria went to court seeking a Southern California divorce. The site noted that Longoria is seeking spousal support and Parker “doesn’t think he has that obligation.”

One might ask why in a marriage involving two celebrities both of whom are at the peak of their earning powers either would be thought to owe the other any form of support? But divorce, be it in California or Texas, is rarely that simple. Parker, according to the Spurs website, is 28 and in his 9th year in the NBA. Longoria is 35 and in her 7th season on Desperate Housewives. While they both make a lot of money now it is unlikely either will do so indefinitely. One could even argue that far from asking for support Longoria ought to be paying it on the grounds that she can expect to receive residual checks from Desperate Housewives for years, if not decades, to come while Parker is likely to see little if any basketball income once his playing career ends.

Thorny issues like these are exactly the ones that prompt people to turn to an Orange County divorce lawyer when they need carefully thought-out solutions to complex California divorce, property division, spousal support and child custody questions. Neither jurisdictional questions nor concerns about long-term income are unique to athletes and celebrities. The role of a Los Angeles, San Bernardino or Orange County family law attorney is to help you sort through your options and arrive at a settlement that is just and protects your interests.

Los Angeles Times: Tony Parker files for divorce from Eva Longoria, Texas-style

CNN: Eva Longoria files for divorce from Tony Parker

Monsters & Critics: Eva Longoria to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends