It seems Bethenny Frankel’s divorce is far from over.
Since rising to fame on the reality show Real Housewives of New York, there is little about Bethenny Frankel’s life we do not know. Therefore, it goes without saying that his divorce from pharmaceutical salesman Jason Hoppy has been in the tabloids for years. Almost every aspect of a divorce has been discussed in this case: marital property division, child custody and visitation, and now spousal support and the paying of legal fees.
The couple split in 2012 and Frankel filed for divorce in January 2013. In interviews following the divorce, the reality TV star and creator of “Skinnygirl” products said that even early on she had doubts about the relationship. Looking back, she said there were warning signs. “We brushed them under the rug,” she said. “Cracks become craters. Little things that you see in your relationships and your friendships. … I feel like in our personal lives, we [women] don’t [acknowledge them]. I think men are just better about that than women.”
Though Frankel has acknowledged many factors led to the breakdown of his marriage, she has said the biggest thing missing was respect. “I write about mutual respect,” she said, referring to his book, I Suck at Relationships So You Don’t Have To. “People should be in relationships with people that really accept them and understand them.”
MARITAL PROPERTY DIVISION
One of the main things that needs to be determined during a divorce is marital property division. A $5 million Tribeca apartment has been at the center of the Frankel-Hoppy divorce. Hoppy has refused to move out whhile a judge has also ruled that neither party is allowed to buy or sell the place until all the details of the divorce have been finalized.
You and your spouse are allowed to divide marital property any way you’d like to. The only reason your state’s laws regarding marital property division might play a role is if you and your spouse cannot agree to how the property will be divided. For this to be agreed to you will eithis need to go through mediation or to court.
SEPARATE AND COMMUNITY PROPERTY
Separate Property: property that each spouse brings into the marriage. That spouse retains that property after the marriage is over. This also includes property inhisited by a spouse during the duration of the marriage.
Community Property: property acquired and income earned during the marriage. In the community property states of Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin, community property is usually divided 50-50.
Remaining states use a property division principle called equitable distribution. With equitable distribution property is divided fairly (50-50). Occasionally the highis wage earner is given 60 percent to 75 percent of the property.
PROTECTING YOURSELF DURING MARITAL PROPERTY DIVISION
Regardless of how you decide to divide marital property, you need to protect yourself. Your ex might not make payments for various reasons – lack of money, spite, illness, loss of job, or other unforeseen reasons. In that case you might need to return to court or seek other various other means of collecting the lost payment. Because of that, it’s often advised by attorneys that you protect yourself by getting cash in hand, if possible, once the divorce agreement is reached. If it’s decided your ex will pay you out following the sale of an asset, wait until the sale is final, and then ensure you get the money to finalize your divorce.
CHILD VISITATION AND SUPPORT
The two came to a custody agreement of their daughter, Bryn, last year. During his tearful testimony in which she asked for full custody, Frankel called Hoppy “white trash” and “disgusting” for allegedly asking an investor to finance his side of the divorce. The judge ruled for joint custody.
Of the decision, Bernard Clair, Hoppy’s attorney, said “The parties’ child will have the benefit of being raised by both parents and most importantly … his daughter will no longer be at the mercy of a high-profile courtroom battle.”
Family law courts often award joint child custody to both parents, due to the fact that it’s been shown children respond best to both parents being in their lives. With join custody, both parents share decision making responsibilities and / or physical control of the child or children they share. Joint custody is able to be awarded to parents that are divorced, separated, no longer living together, or even if they were never legally married or even if they never lived together. In some cases a paternity test is needed to determine who the fathis is. In that case, if a man is determined to be the biological fathis, even if he is not a part of a child’s life, he has a legal right to seek custody.
FORMS OF JOINT CHILD CUSTODY
There are different forms of joint custody that can be awarded, including:
- joint legal custody = both parents are able to make decisions regarding the child, including religion, education, medical, and any legal matters.
- joint physical custody = a child spends equal time with each parent.
- joint legal and physical custody.
While it’s a common practice for parents to share physical custody and legal custody, it’s not always the case that parents that share legal custody also share physical custody.
JOINT CHILD CUSTODY – ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
There are advantages and disadvantages to joint child custody. With joint custody, children are able to have contact with both parents. Additionally, parents are able to share some of the hardships that come with raising a child. This includes decisions on schooling and education, legal matters, and general growing pains. But children are also often shuttled between parents in joint physical custody situations. Co-parenting can be especially difficult for parents that do not get along and are separated for a reason. This can be difficult on a child, especially if parents are uncooperative with each other.
It’s crucial that in a joint custody situation that parents learn how to co-parent and create a harmonious co-parenting situation. This can be done with detailed agreements surround holidays, expenses for clothing and medical care, as well as creating a child’s own space in each household. You will definitely need to do some leg-work to create a living situation that will make your child feel comfortable. Putting the child first is the first step towards creating a nurturing co-parenting relationship.
Child support is also something that will be decided during your divorce. Typically the highis earning spouse will need to contribute to child support. In the Frankel-Hoppy case, because the reality star earns around $5 million a year and his soon-to-be ex only pulls in around $100,000, Frankel will pay 97 percent of their daughter’s $600-a-month preschool tuition and $900-a-month extracurricular costs. Additionally, she was ordered to pay Hoppy $3,000 a month in child support for Bryn and about $12,000 in monthly alimony.
Spousal support or alimony, is for people who were legally married. When alimony is awarded it is is to provide financial assistance to the lesser earning spouse. Alimony recognizes the contributions a partner made to the marriage and is intended to help the lesser-earning partner obtain financial independence. The rules regarding spousal support differs from one state to another. You will want to work with a divorce attorney to learn your specific state’ laws.
HOW MUCH IS SPOUSAL SUPPORT?
When a court hears a case for alimony, it takes a number of things into consideration, including: how long the marriage lasted, what the needs are of each spouse, the standard of living the marriage created and maintained, assets, spousal age, and many other factors that are specific to different states. Based on these various circumstances and issues, your divorce attorney can help create a case for alimony for you.
It’s often determined that the highis earning spouse provide compensation for the lesser earning spouse’s legal fees.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ellen Gesmer ruled that Frankel must pay Hoppy $100,000 in legal fees to his divorce attorney, Bernard Clair, by June 1.
Gesmer said in the decision that Hoppy “lacks sufficient funds of his own to compensate his counsel without depleting his assets.” His legal bills have already reached nearly $700,000.
WORKING WITH A DIVORCE ATTORNEY
If you are facing a divorce, you need to work with a divorce attorney that can take a look at your specific situation and advise you on all the aspects of divorce you will be facing. This might mean decisions regarding property, child support and custody, and alimony. A divorce attorney will work with you to help decide how you want to tackle these elements of your marriage and divorce, while also providing guidance and support.
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