After being accused of sexual misconduct and losing his job as host of The Today Show, Matt Lauer is now facing divorce from his wife Annete Roque
According to a source close to dethroned news anchor, the 60-year-old former Today show anchor is having a tough time during his divorce proceedings. Lauer was fired from his host spot of the NBC morning show last November due to “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” Since the allegations came out, Lauer has retreated to a house in the Hamptons and recently put up his 11-bedroom Manhattan apartment for sale. “Matt cut himself off from the life he knew in Manhattan and has remained for the most part isolated,” the source said. “He looks exhausted. Matt is finally coming to terms with the reality that his marriage is over and he is in bad shape. He feels he lost everything important in his life overnight. He is embarrassed and ashamed.” The two share three children together – Jack, 16, Romy, 14, and Thijs, 11. “Annette plans to receive a very good settlement in this divorce,” the source claims. “She wants to make sure she and the children will always be well taken care of.” The source went on to say, “Matt feels terrible and regrets his behavior but his regret isn’t enough right now. It feels like all doors have closed for him.”
WORKING WITH A DIVORCE ATTORNEY
While it might seem like working with a divorce attorney will be overwhelming, it can actually simplify the process for you. Below we outline the following aspects you might encounter during your divorce that will require you to work with a divorce attorney: legal separation, spousal support, and child custody. A divorce attorney is the best way for you to resolve these issues.
If you and your spouse have decided to try legal separation instead of, or prior to getting a divorce, 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.
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. Because laws vary by state you’ll want to work with an attorney when drafting this agreement.
DECIDING ON DIVORCE
If you do decide to go through with divorce following your legal separation, or if you just want to skip the separation and start the divorce process, a divorce attorney will be able to walk you through the process. This process includes some of the following: spousal support, child custody, and property division. Below we discuss these three aspects, and why working with a divorce attorney can help you arrive at a smoother outcome.
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 intended to help the partner obtain financial independence. The rules regarding spousal support differ 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 prove 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 determining spousal support, the court usually requires the higher 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.
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.
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