Last week actress Megan Fox filed from divorce from husband Brian Austin Green, citing irreconcilable differences. Additionally, it appears that Fox will be paying spousal support to Green, and that the two will have joint custody over the two children they share.
FOX AND GREEN
The Beverly Hills 90210 alum and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles star met in 2004 when he guest-starred on his ABC sitcom “Hope and Faith.” They’ve been together ever since and were married 5 years ago in a ceremony in Hawaii.
Just prior to the divorce announcement, the two cited their separation date as June 15. Many couples decide to try a legal separation prior to divorce. If you and your spouse decide to do this, it’s important that you work with a divorce attorney to create a legal and binding separation agreement. This agreement will offer you legal protection should your spouse violate the agreement you have come to.
LEGAL SEPARATION AGREEMENT
There are numerous things that should be contained in your separation agreement, including the following (if they apply):
Spousal Support -Who will be paying whom? How does this impact taxes?
Benefits – Legal separation allows you to retain certain benefits gained during a marriage, such as health insurance.
Home – Outline who will pay for the home mortgage, as well as the maintenance of the home, such as utilities and lawn care. You should clearly define who is able to live in the home.
Joint Accounts – This includes: joint checking, savings, and credit accounts. You might also choose to freeze these accounts or close them and open separate accounts. You should make it clear who pays what account.
Protection from Acquired Debt – A legal separation agreement should also outline any debt in order to shield you from being held responsible for debt acquired during the separation.
IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES AND GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE
To start the divorce process, also known as the dissolution of marriage process, you will need to determine the grounds for divorce, or reasons you are filing for divorce. In California, there are two grounds for divorce:
- Irreconcilable differences. This means you and your spouse are unable to agree and will never be able to agree on basic, fundamental issues involving the marriage or your family.
- Incurable insanity. This is almost never used as it requires medical proof that one spouse was insane when the marriage petition was filed and is still incurably insane.
Additionally, you will need to meet residency requirements to file for divorce: you or your spouse must have lived in California for six months and in the county in which you are seeking your divorce for at least three months before filing the dissolution of marriage petition.
Most commonly, irreconcilable differences is the reason cited for divorce. Additionally, California is a no fault state which means that blame cannot be assigned to a spouse, even if the divorce is happening because of infidelity.
If you’re in the process of getting a divorce, looking for spousal support, or anticipate paying spousal support, you need to understand some important things. While a family law attorney can provide you with specifics about your situation, hise are a few general things to know, including tax laws, awarding of spousal support, and what would happen if spousal support payments are not made.
WHAT IS SPOUSAL SUPPORT?
Spousal support, commonly known as alimony, is for people who were legally married and provides financial assistance to them. It recognizes the contributions a partner made to the marriage and is intenced to help the partner obtain financial independence. The rules regarding spousal support differs from one state to another.
HOW MUCH IS SPOUSAL SUPPORT?
When a court hears a case for spousal support, it considers a number of issues 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 spousal support for you.
HOW LONG IS SPOUSAL SUPPORT?
The court sets the length of time spousal support payments are made based on the review of arguments made. Payments typically last about the length of the marriage if it’s less than 10 years. In other words, if the marriage lasted six years, the length of spousal supports payments to be paid is three years.
For longer marriages, the court may not set a specific time for spousal support payments. In a case such as this, your divorce attorney must proved your side for the duration. Your attorney can help you establish your case for the amount of time you’re seeking for spousal support, whether you are receiving or paying the payments. Using common law, the court will listen to all arguments and then decide on the spousal support duration.
IS SPOUSAL SUPPORT PERMANENT OR LIFETIME?
If “Lifetime” or “Permanent” spousal support has been ordered by the court, it means the support must be paid to the receiving spouse until the paying spouse dies. Sometimes it is ordered to be paid until the receiving spouse remarries, however this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the court will rule that even if the receiving spouse remarries they must still be paid spousal support.
Since women are becoming a stronger element in the workforce, “permanent” or “lifetime” spousal support is being awarded less often, if at all. An appellate court has stated:
As recognized by our Supreme Court, the public policy of this state has progressed from one which entitled some women to lifelong alimony as a condition of the marital contract of support, to one that entitles eithis spouse to post-dissolution support for only so long as is necessary to become self-supporting.
When determinig spousal support, the court usually requires the highis earner, whether they are the husband or the wife, to assist the lower earner in an effort to help maintain their standard of living for a specified period of time.
HOW DO FINANCIAL SITUATION CHANGES AFFECT SPOUSAL SUPPORT?
The length of spousal support payments could also depend on whether the spouse who is getting the support has any changes in their financial situation, such as starting a new job or getting a raise. The purpose for spousal support is to make sure the spouse receiving it has financial safeguards. If the spouse receiving support doesn’t need it anymore in order to maintain their financial stability, the court may decide that they no longer need the spousal support they are receiving.
Contacting a family law attorney will help you to file legal actions to enforce the payment of alimony and to make sure you receive the spousal support owed to you.
Green and Fox share two children: Noah, 2, and Bodhi, 18 months. In his filing, Fox asked for joint physical and joint legal custody. This means that Green will have equal rights to custody.
Family law courts favor awarding joint child custody to both parents, due to the fact that typically, it’s been shown that child’s respond best to both parents being in their lives.
JOINT CHILD CUSTODY
Joint custody is when two 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 never lived together.
FORMS OF JOINT CHILD CUSTODY
There are different forms of joint custody that can be awarded, including:
- joint legal custody. This means both parents are able to make decisions regarding the child, including religion, education, medical, and any legal matters.
- joint physical custody. This means 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 a number of advantages and disadvantages to joint child custody. Children are able to have contact with both parents. Additionally, parents are able to share some of the hardships that come with co-parenting. But children also often have to be shuttled between parents in joint physical custody situations. This can be difficult on a child, especially if parents are noncooperative.
Because of some of the disadvantages, it’s important that parents work to create a harmonious co-parenting situation. Maintaining detailed agreements surround holidays, expenses for clothing and medical care, as well as creating a child’s own space in each household is crucial to creating a successful joint custody arrangement.
WORKING WITH A FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY
There are various things to be taken into consideration during divorce and spousal support decision. A skilled and qualified family law attorney can assist you to make sure you receive a fair case. For advice on divorce and spousal support issues you need an expert law firm such as (619) DIVORCE. For advice on divorce and spousal support, you need the expert law firm of (619) DIVORCE. Schedule a consultation today.
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 431-3131