Articles Posted in Divorce

Janet Jackson is going through a child custody battle and a divorce battle with Wissam Al Mana who is from Qatar and is a Billionaire who invests internationally in all sorts of things.  Recently they were seen in the Royal Courts in London after a court hearing on Custody.  It would seem she is involved in a hotly contested international child custody dispute. The couple had split in April after Janet had given birth to their daughter in January, Elissa.

In the Divorce proceedings word has gotten out that Janet will receive a sizable settlement payment from Al Mana around $200,000.  And she will remain in London to raise the child.  Janet is worth $150,000 so already has a lot of money and now will seek to increase her already wealthy amount of money.  This turn out to be an interstate child custody dispute and also an international divorce.  However, it appears the couple have settled on the London Courts to serve as the jurisdiction to hear the Divorce and custody matters.  The child Elissa was born in London so England would be her home country.  However, since Janet is also a US citizen she could also one day decide to head back to the US to live.  Likewise Al Mana is from Qatar and could also want at some time to take his child to visit or live in Qatar.  But for right now it seems that the parents have somewhat resided to the fact that London will be Elissa’s home.

Janet is talks to be part of a netflix 10 part documentaries about her life after her divorce from Al Mana.  This could net her a significant some of money which might effect the settlement of the divorce.  In California the courts look to the standard of living for the spouses post separation.  So the London Courts will probably do the same.

Actor Kevin Dillon of the famed series entourage has settled his divorce finally.  The funny think is that noon new he was getting divorced, that is how under the radar his divorce was. His now ex wife was Jane stuart who filed for divorce last July.  The couple was married for over 10 years.  The key battle that the couple had was over the date of separation of the divorce.  This can be a very hot item issue of a divorce as it nears the 10 year number of the length of the marriage.  The key benefit of the 10 year time rule is that the other party after 10 years can get lifetime spousal support from the other party. Jan stuart claimed that the couple separated May 29, 2016 which would have made the marriage ten years.  Kevin Dillon claimed the couple had separated in October of 2008.  Apparently the major squabble of the couple was over the residual payments the actor was to receive from his entourage show.

As with most of these cases … it settled before going to trial. Last month Kevin agreed to pay Jane $3,174 a month in child support for their 11-year-old daughter, and she gets $7,214 in monthly spousal support. Dillon is best known for playing a character on Entourage called Johnny Drama.

Kevin Dillon’s net worth is approximated to be $10 million dollars.  He earned most of his money from his role on entourage where he earned $16 million dollars.  That is why the date of separation was so important since they married in 2004 she would get a portion of his royalties from his show.  He was seen getting cozy with a blond lady last may which would imply that his wife might be correct in her assertion of the date of separation to be in May of last year.  Stuart claimed that Kevin Dillon under reported his income.  Therefore, this issue probably undermined the divorce process and she and her attorneys needed to do further discovery on Dillon to get an accurate assessment of his true income.

Getting married for a second time is fairly common. But the financial and estate planning issues that result from remarriage often pose a different set of problems than that of the first marriage.  For one, in the first marriage you have no prior issues to deal with such as children, support payments and an ex spouse to contend with.

The major problem with a second marriage deals with the issue of children. When you remarry with a different partner they too may have children and therein lies the issue of a new blended family. Child custody issues may arise not that there are new siblings and new stepparents involved in raising the children. If you have left over issues involving child custody then there might be difficult times ahead. The prior spouse may have issues with the new spouse their children. Who is making the rules now with the new family? is it the new spouse? Does their parenting of their children influence your parenting and effect your prior spouses concerns about their own children and what is happening to them.

If you and your new spouse keep a joint bank account to pay common bills therein lies another big problem.  If you have unresolved issues regarding money with the prior spouse then the second spouse might get involved in that dispute unknowingly and innocently.  If Creditors are after you from the prior marriage then they may continue the pursuit of your money including the bank accounts you have with the current spouse. Creditors are not going to divide the bank account they can attach and levy that holds your money.  Therefore you new spouse may jeopardize their own money by commingling in your bank account.  The best advise is the keep separate bank accounts from your new spouse knowing that the prior divorce is still pending and or many unresolved issues linger over for many years to come.

Recently Tiger Woods was arrested in Juniper, Florida for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.  Mr Woods has a child with his ex wife Elin Nordegren.  At the time of their divorce Mr. Woods was also involved in a drug related incident whereby he crashed his car into a tree and claimed he was high on ambien.  He was not charged with a crime at that time. After the incident he divorced his ex wife and achieved a amicable outcome with regards to his divorce and child custody arrangement. He is the father of two children, Sam, 9 and Charlie, 7.  In a recent interview Tiger Woods opened up about how he parents his children.  Although his golfing career has hit a slump his parenting life appears to be of a very caring and thoughtful father.  In the interview he did recently he talks how his father Earl Woods would communicate to him at his eye level.  He stated that because his father would get down to his eye level when talking to him it creating a strong father son bond. This type of behavior is something he has passed on to his kids to develop that similar bond.

As a result of the recent DUI Mr. Woods might not suffer a disastrous custody battle as if he did not have this strong bond with his two children.  In addition, Tiger states that after the divorce he has developed a strong friendship with Ms. Nordegren and can talk to her about his relationship with his children openly.  Thus, because of this tight bond with his ex wife he might not suffer a big break in his relationship with his minor children.  Drugs and alcohol are a very bad combination when dealing with a custody battle among ex spouses or partners.  Getting behind the wheel of a car and driving drunk shows poor judgment which can transfer over to how you parent your children.

The police spotted Mr. Woods late at night driving down a road in Jupiter, Florida near his home weaving in and out of the lanes.  The local police noticed the erratic behavior and made a traffic stop.  Upon approaching Mr. Woods after the traffic stop the police noticed a strong odor of alcohol on Tiger’s breath.  A Police officer can make a stop based on a reasonable suspicion that the person was driving while under the influence.  In addition, once the stop is made and the officer notices that the person smells of alcohol they can administer what is called field sobriety tests.  The Juniper police office approached Mr. Woods after the stop and asked him to breathe into a breathalyzer.  Tiger refused to do it.  Thereafter, Mr. Woods was placed under arrest.  I a person does not give a breath test then they will lose there license for a year and will be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Huma Abedin the long time adviser/confident of Hillary Rodham Clinton the ex presidential candidate, ex secretary of state, ex senator and ex first lady.  And now Huma has finally cut the cord to her long time husband the ex United State House representative, and filed for Divorce.  Mr. Weiner plead guitly to texting obscene pictures to a minor.  This of course was not his first run in with exposing his self to others via text.  Huma gave Mr. Weiner a second chance after his prior criminal activity of exposure via text.  However, finally she decided enough was enough and a divorce was the only solution after his second exposure incident with minor children.

As stated on Cnn “”Weiner accepted responsibility for his conduct. “I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse,” he said through pauses and bouts of tears in an emotional statement. “I entered intensive treatment, found the courage to take a moral inventory of my defects, and began a program of recovery and mental health treatment that I continue to follow every day.'”

Obviously this person has a sickness and a Divorce had to be on the horizon after his first bout of exposure to others. Mr. Weiner accepted a plea deal with the federal prosecutor where he could face 21 to 27 months in federal prison.

Jesse Jackson Jr.  has been going through a bitter divorce with his ex wife, Ald Sandi Jackson. They were married for 25 years and continue their courtroom drama.  He was a former U.S. House of Represenative.  His ex is trying through legal means and her lawyer to find out very personal information from Jesse Jackson, Jr. such as all his girlfriends he had during their 25 year marriage.  The lawyer is using the process of Discovery to further investigate these lurid details.  The divorce proceedings are currently being heard in Washington D.C. Jesse Jackson, Jr. through his lawyers has objected to the questions stating that they are irrelevant.  Sandi Jackson is tyring to get spousal support and attorney fees.

The change of Venue has been a hotly contested issue of the Divorce proceedings.  Jesse Jackson Jr. filed for Divorce initially in Cook County Illinois first.  Later Sandi Jackson filed for divorce in Washington D.C. where she lives.  There usually is a first in time rule dealing with which state or county will hear the divorce proceedings.  However, often the Judges of each Court will contact each other and decide based on all the evidence, witnesses and other issues which jurisdiction is better suited to maintain jurisdiction of the Divorce case.  Apparently, the issue of venue was a big problem for Jesse Jacksion Jr. as his children who are 13 and 17 were he alleged being harmed unnecessarily by his Sandi Jackson’s harmful public comments.  Rather than fight the venue of the case he conceded that Washinton D.C. would be the appropriate forum to litigate their divorce.

Jesse Jackson Jr. had to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives because he had missappropriated $750,000 from his campaign treasury.  He ended up going to prison for this crime.  In addition, Sandi Jackson as well went to prison for her involvement in the crime.  Interestingly, both parents had to do their prison time separately and at different times because they needed to take care of their minor children.

It finally has happened.   I guess some would say the inevitable.  But Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have finally called it quits after what appeared to be an on again off again relationship.  Jennifer Garner filed a Petition for Divorce.  She did not put an attorney on the Petition for Divorce which is unusual for a high profile couple.  Jennifer Garner and Ben affleck filed a Joint Petition for Divorce and both are seeking joint physical and legal custody of the three minor children. The couple separated June 30, 2015 almost two years ago.  It appeared from the public’s eye that the couple was trying to work things out for the children’s sake.

There is a big issue yet to be determined and that is spousal support.  Apparently Ben Affleck made much more money during the marriage than Jennifer Garner.  Therefore he will be obligated to pay Jennifer Garner either a lumps sum spousal support payment or monthly payments for a period of time yet to be determined.  In California a marriage over 10 years will garner life time spousal support payable by one spouse to the other.  In the case of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck there marriage was over 10 years so Jennifer Garner might be in for a substantial financial reward depending how she negotiates the divorce.

It also has been stated that she and Ben filed as their own lawyers which often takes away alot of animosity and litigation that having lawyers might cause. However, in the case of Ben and Jennifer they have approached the Divorce amicably and by filing as their own lawyers they are keeping up this amicable and calm approach to their divorce.  In addition, what is important to them has always been their children.  By both requesting joint legal and joint physical custody they both are invested in the best interest of their children.

In the modern day and age of the internet and facebook, instagram, twitter and all other sorts of social media outlets people have fallen into the trap of airing their dirty laundry during their divorce to the public to view and offer ill fated advice.  Do not trust the 3rd party input from social media.  Do not rely on a layman opinion regarding your divorce or family law matter that may negatively impact you during the divorce proceedings.  If you have spent the time and resources to hire a family law attorney and then head to facebook or other social media to share your intimate experiences about your divorce or all other issues regarding your dissolution of marriage then you are asking for a lot of trouble.

Studies have shown that leaking personal information to the public seeking affirmation of your personal business during a divorce can lead you down a very troubling and damaging road that cannot be undone.  Airing dirty laundry should be done to a friend on the phone but not to the public where the divorcing parties have access to your personal business that might not be so flattering to you during the divorce proceedings.  Do not undermine your lawyers efforts to effectively fight for your rights to spousal support, child support, child custody and property division as well as any custody issues you are vigorously fighting for by posting pictures of you out partying or drinking alcohol.  And do not post provoking pictures of your new boyfriend or girlfriend when you are trying to fight for your credibility in Family Law Court.

Julia Rodgers, founder of Holistic Divorce,  states “Couples should keep divorce-related issues away from the public. Doing this gives them the power to control the narrative and solidifies their case. In this age where comparison and blame-shifting is rife, couples are tempted to tell the world who’s at fault. However, doing this helps nobody.” This statement is very true.  Using social media to play the blame game and cast blame at the other spouse during the divorce only will in the end hurt you from achieving what you want to succeed from doing. That is to walk away from the divorce without losing all your assets and keep your personal life in tact.

Often the grounds for divorce in the United States and in California is irreconcilable differences.  Family law courts do not require that there is a fault to get divorced. However, under a new law in Mississippi would permit a spouse to allege domestic violence as a ground for divorce in that state.  The bill has been opposed by other house members who do not want to permit a  new domestic violence ground for a divorce in that state.  The bill which was sponsored by senator Sally Doty of the Mississippi Senate would like the statute to permit spouses to only have to prove that emotional and financial abuse occurred.  In addition the Statute would include that “habitual cruel and inhumane treatment” be grounds for divorce as well.  This would be a monumental law permitting spouses to only show some sort of abuse other than physical abuse.  Normally to prove Domestic Violence the party would have to show some sort of reasonable threat if imminent violence or some sort of stalking.  To permit the element of emotional abuse would definitely make proving domestic violence much simpler. That is the concern of  representative Andy Gipson of Mississippi State Legislature who feels another law adding emotional and financial abuse would be duplicative and add nothing to the current law in place. He adds that we do not need to add to an existing divorce law that already includes domestic violence elements in the statute.  His argument states that their is a history in the Mississippi Court system that have held for a victim of domestic violence who can prove there was habitual and cruel inhumane treatment over a period of time. This opposition by Gipson seems to be the issue between he and Senator Doty.  She further states that the new Domestic violence codification under the Mississippi divorce law would allow one witness and one incident to be permitted to prove the grounds for domestic violence under the divorce law. This new element permitting only one instance of abuse to occur as all that is needed to establish domestic violence in a divorce in Mississippi can be crucial in assisting a victim in getting a divorce.  The purpose stated Wendy Mahoney the executive director of the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence was to make the ability of getting a divorce a little easier for those parties who are victims of domestic violence.  And to show only that one occurrence is all that is be needed to prove domestic violence to get a divorce would be a significant change for the better Wendy Mahoney believes.  Representative Gipson strongly believes that the new addition to the current divorce laws would destroy the stability of marriage and make it easier for people to get divorced.  However, Senator Doty’s fight was fulfilled as the Mississippi State Legislature had passed the bill allowing domestic violence as a ground for divorce.  In addition, one key element that was added included the provision for one key witness as all that is needed to prove domestic violence.  This means that the victim themselves was all that was needed as evidence in Court to establish their case.

Free-Scarlett-Johansson-Picture-300x225As it is has become apparent Scarlet Johansson has filed for divorce. Her husband Romain Dauriac is from France.  He does not appear to want to contest the divorce issue but seems likely to contest the Child custody issue.  He and Scarlet share a daughter who is a Toddler named rose. He states that he is the primary care giver of the child.  He further states that Scarlet is always on a film shoot and he has to make his schedule work for her while she films. Scarlet appears to be taking the high road according her statement to public.  She states that ultimately her daughter will know how her divorce went down.  Clearly Scarlet does not want to make any of her divorce issues public.  However, due to the public nature of her career how can she really argue she wants to make her divorce private when she is such a public figure.  Her statements about having a private divorce may be based on false hope rather than reality.

As far as the child custody issues go there appears to be a big issue with regards to international child custody laws.  As Romain is from france.  If both parties can agree as to a schedule of visitation and custody then the international child custody issue will not be an issue.  However, if Scarlet and Romain cannot agree as to any schedule, then who will become the primary custodian of the child, Rose will be a very important issue. And how that will be determined by the Court will be very factual sensitive.  The Court will have to investigate who partakes in the day to day upbringing of Rose and who can maintain that type of contact with the child going forward.  The law Family Courts use is the “Best Interest” standard.  There are many criteria the Court will assess and then determine what is in the Best Interest of Rose and who should she reside with.  The Court can also make a custody determination giving primary custody to a parent that does not live in the United States such as Romain.  Since France is part of the Hague Convention Treaty Courts in the United States can freely decide that a child can reside outside The United States without much fear of any risk losing jurisdiction.

Secondly, the Johansson divorce will involve some property issues.  As Scarlet is a high profile actress who makes millions of dollars for her movies it is apparent she makes substantially more money than her husband Romain who is a curator of Art shows in New York.  Normally there would be a very big Spousal support issue where Scarlet would be paying her husband Romain thousands of dollars of support for a period of half of the length of the marriage. But both parties signed a prenuptial agreement which probably contracted away any spousal support issues the couple might face during their divorce proceedings.  Therefore Romain probably will be given a much smaller settlement of any assets Scarlet earned during their marriage.