Two months after the news broke that Miley Cyrus’ parents, Billy Ray and Tish, are seeking a divorce after 17 years of marriage, celebrity websites are now reporting that the family’s Toluca Lake home has been put up for sale. According to Canada’s CTV News the family mansion is on the market and “Tish has reportedly been spotted looking for homes in Encino and is believed to be downsizing to a $4.6 million pad.”
As I noted in a post last month, Billy Ray and Tish filed for divorce in Tennessee (where Billy Ray is originally from) citing “irreconcilable differences.” Questions remain regarding how, exactly, the couple can get divorced in Tennessee granted that they rather obviously live in California. Also remaining to be seen is how this residency question may effect the eventual division of the couple’s California assets.
Regardless of whether this case moves forward in Tennessee or becomes a Southern California divorce, however, one potential California child custody question has now resolved itself: in the weeks since the divorce petitions were filed Miley, the family’s main breadwinner, turned 18 (custody of two younger children remains to be determined).
The Cyrus divorce case is a good reminder for the rest of us of the importance of careful planning when embarking on a Los Angeles or Orange County divorce. Residency questions can become difficult, particularly for high-net-worth couples who may own homes in multiple jurisdictions. Changing your legal residence for divorce purposes may not be as easy as some people believe (these things vary widely from state to state) and even a successful effort to move a case out of Orange County or some other Southern California venue does not necessarily mean that California’s community property laws will not become a factor in settlement negotiations as they move forward.
All of these are matters in which the advice of a skilled Orange County divorce attorney can be crucial – possibly meaning the difference between a settlement that protects all of your rights and a more lopsided agreement.