March 7th, 2014

Amanda Sheppard Divorces Bryan Ferry


After being married for a bit over 2 years, Amanda Sheppard, 31, filed divorce paperwork on the grounds that Bryan Ferry, 68, has continuously unreasonable behavior.

District Judge Gibson solidified the couples’ first legal step to ending their marriage by granting them a decree nisi. Now they must wait 6 weeks and a day for the decree absolute, which is binding.

The initial divorce petition was signed on January 16th. To the question “Is the respondent’s behaviour as set out in your petition continuing?”, Sheppard marked “Yes.” It also indicated they are no longer living together.

The couple met while Sheppard was dating one of Ferry’s sons. They were married in 2011 at a resort in Turks and Caicos.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

January 24th, 2014

Divorce Finalized for Jane Lynch


Jane Lynch and her now ex-wife, Dr. Lara Embry, have finalized the divorce they filed for in July (2013).

The reason for divorce was cited as “irreconcilable differences” but the two remain amicable.

Embry’s request for spousal support in the sum of $93,000 a month was denied and the exact number has not been made public.

Lynch purchased the house and is keeping it.

Lynch and Embry were married in 2010.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

December 13th, 2013

Utah Divorce Class Proposal


For parents going through a divorce, Utah currently has a state mandated, in-person, divorce orientation course.

The belief of many is that when someone files for divorce, divorce is inevitable. The belief of some is that there is hope to salvage some marriages.

Alan Hawkins, a Brigham Young University professor, teaches the state mandated class in Utah and believes that 10-20% of marriages which result in divorce petitions have a “reasonable possibility of repairing the relationship and being able to preserve family stability.”

The Utah Legislature is currently looking at a proposal that would move up the required divorce orientation course in the divorce process, placing it before the actual filing of the petition.

This proposal is getting a lot of negative feedback and many issues are coming to light that need to be considered.

The biggest issue is the issue of open courts in which the Constitution says out right that everyone is entitled to the courts.

An exception to this process is being proposed for victims of domestic violence. A court or police order, or other evidence of domestic violence, will waive the required course.

This is the third time Rep. Jim Nielson is trying to advance this legislation.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

November 22nd, 2013

Rupert and Wendi Murdoch Finalize Their Historic Divorce Settlement


In a surprisingly friendly court appearance this week, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his longtime wife, Wendi, finalized their mutual divorce settlement, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.

In a joint statement released shortly after their court hearing, Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng Murdoch, who was the billionaire’s third wife, said they were “pleased to announce that we have reached an amicable settlement of all matters relating to our divorce.”

“We move forward with mutual respect and a shared interest in the health and happiness of our two daughters. We will not comment on this any further,” concluded the former couple’s statement.

The couple finalized their divorce during a hearing this week in Manhattan in a New York state court. During the hearing, the couple told the judge a trial would not be necessary and that they wanted the judge to simply confirm a settlement they reached together.

Celebrities often prefer to settle a divorce case out of court, because private settlements do not become publicly available, whereas the details of a divorce trial would have likely created a publicity frenzy.

The divorce settlement, however, is not expected to damage Rupert Murdoch’s remarkable media empire. Sources say the 82-year-old mogul will continue to hold his biggest media holdings, News Corp. and 21st Century Fox.

Wendi Murdoch, though, will reportedly receive the couple’s pricey Manhattan apartment, as well as an undisclosed amount of cash.

The couple’s relatively amicable divorce hearing took place while the couple was reportedly sitting together at a small table in the Manhattan courtroom. And the hearing only took about 15 minutes, according to reports.

During the hearing, which progressed like most other cases, the judge read off a series of simple questions, asked the parties if they had reached a settlement, and then gave the deal her stamp of approval.

The judge also praised the couple for behaving so “amicably” during the process, and the hearing reportedly ended with the 44-year-old wife kissing her former husband on the cheek.

The hearing ends a fourteen-year marriage for the power couple. The Murdochs were reportedly married in New York Harbor on Rupert Murdoch’s yacht, which is reportedly up for sale.

Sources say Ruport Murdoch married his third wife just a few weeks after finalizing his divorce with his second wife, Anna Tory, who is the mother of his three adult children. Rupert and Wendi also had two young daughters together.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

November 15th, 2013

Pope Francis Requests Survey on Views Towards Divorce in America


In a move that could signal a drastic change in the Catholic Church’s views towards divorce, Pope Francis asked his American bishops to conduct extensive polling of divorced members of the church, according to a report this week from CBS News.

Divorce has been a constant source of stress for the Catholic Church in recent decades, which has alienated many Catholics, and Pope Francis has made it known that he wants the Church to be more welcoming to all members, sources report.

And the Pope’s request for a comprehensive survey of Americans’ views on issues like divorce, same-sex marriage, and contraception, is an unprecedented move from the Vatican, according to experts on the religion.

“I think it’s definitely recognition that the teachings of the Church on these particular hot button topics are not being received as the Vatican would like them to be received,” said Father Martin, a Catholic expert.

American bishops were reportedly told to gather responses to a 38-question survey over the next three months. The responses will be mailed to the Vatican so Catholic authorities can review the information before holding a major summit on Catholic family life.

Church clergy, however, were quick to tell sources that the survey request does not necessarily signal an upcoming change in Church doctrine on these social issues.

But others believe the survey is a step towards potential changes in Church doctrine, or at the very least, a step towards discerning what Catholics actually practice in their everyday lives.

The survey reportedly asks questions like: “What questions do divorced and remarried people pose to the Church concerning the Sacrament,” and, “Is there a law in your country recognizing civil unions for people of the same sex and equating it in some way to marriage.”

In recent weeks, Pope Francis made waves by saying that the Church should reduce its single-minded focus on issues like contraception, abortion, and same-sex marriage, and instead focus on making people more comfortable with the Church.

Catholic teachings, however, leave little room for interpretation on these matters. For centuries, contraception has been considered a sin, and Church member who successfully divorce lawyer are not allowed to remarry in a Catholic Church.

And while the survey may not lead to dramatic shifts in Church policy, it at least signals that the Church is not a totalitarian regime, and respects the views of non-clergy.

In the words of Father Martin, the “great saints and martyrs were often not popes and bishops, they were lay people and they were people who were mothers and fathers and lawyers and doctors.”

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

November 8th, 2013

Texas Supreme Court Starts to Hear Cases Involving Same Sex Divorce


The Texas Supreme Court has started to hear cases that could determine the fate of same-sex couples looking to get a divorce in the Lone Star State, according to a report from the Dallas Morning News.

Sources say the complication arises from the state’s ban on gay marriage, which remains in effect in Texas and states that marriage can only be between one man and one woman.

Several gay couples, however, have married in other states, and then moved to Texas. So the issue is whether these couples will be able to obtain a divorce in their adopted state.

And the issue was confused in recent years after two appellate courts reached contradictory conclusions, sending the complicated issue to the state’s highest court for resolution this week.

According to reports, in 2010, the Third Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the state’s attorney general had no jurisdiction in its case, and allowed a lesbian couple to divorce. The Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas, however, stated that a gay couple in Dallas could not legally file for divorce under Texas law.

According to James Scheske, the divorce attorney representing the same-sex couples in the Texas Supreme Court, the cases are about “divorce and equality. He also says the contrary Dallas ruling “forecloses my client’s constitutional right to petition for divorce in his state of residency and thereby violates his rights under the 14th Amendment.”

Also, Sheske noted in a recent court hearing that if the state’s attorney general, who is arguing against the same-sex couples, prevails, the lesbian couple in Austin will be forced to remarry four years after their divorce.

But the same-sex couples have received strong opposition from the state. Sources say Deputy Attorney General James Blacklock argued in court that all same-sex marriages are void and unenforceable in Texas, regardless of the state of their origin.

“Texas law does not recognize those marriages,” said Blackock in court this week. “It is void for all purposes in Texas.”

The issue of same-sex divorce is rapidly becoming a topic of national conversation, especially after the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which prevented same-sex couples who married in other states from receiving federal benefits.

Each state still has the right to define marriage as it sees fit, but states that do legalize gay marriage effectively have the support of the federal government after the recent Supreme Court decision.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

November 1st, 2013

Estranged Wife of Actor Clint Eastwood Reportedly Files for Divorce


The estranged wife of famous actor Clint Eastwood is reportedly filing for divorce after 17 years of marriage, according to a report this week from CNN.

Sources say Eastwood’s wife, Dina Eastwood, is expected to ask for full child custody (the couple has one young daughter) in her divorce papers.

It’s too early to tell whether Dina will be able to gain full custody of the couple’s, but in many states, courts tend to err on the side of granting legal custody to both parents.

This, of course, might still allow for Dina to keep the child, but even if she does have physical custody, it’s likely that her husband will be able to have a say in all important decisions related to the child’s care.

According to reports, Clint Eastwood’s 48-year-old-wife, a former television news anchor, claimed in her divorce petition that the couple suffers from “irreconcilable differences.” The divorce petition was reportedly filed in Monterey County, California, where the couple resides.

Interestingly, Dina Eastwood filed separation papers in October, but withdrew them a few days later after deciding to change her legal strategy. In a recent interview with Us Weekly, Dina Eastwood said she and her husband remain close, but the two have been living apart “for some time.”

Clint Eastwood became famous at a relatively young age, and has continued to star in and direct major films. He gained even more fame in 2012 when he spoke at the Republican National Convention and memorably spoke to an empty chair.

The divorcing couple reportedly married in March of 1996, and their daughter, who is now 16, was born that December.

Dina Eastwood and her daughter, Morgan, were featured with the actor’s other daughter, Francesca, on a recent reality television show, “Mrs. Eastwood and Company.”

Sources also note that Clint Eastwood has one previous wife, Maggie Johnson, and has had eight children with six different women.

And while the couple certainly has a lot of money to divide between the two of them, the distribution of marital assets is likely covered by a prenuptial agreement, which is common in marriages between wealthy celebrities.

Of course, if they don’t have a prenuptial agreement, things could get messy. It’s more likely, however, that the two will argue over who is granted physical custody of their daughter, although Dina Eastwood has reportedly offered to share legal custody with her soon-to-be former husband.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

October 25th, 2013

Harvard Study Finds That Divorce Filings Could be Contagious


A Harvard study recently discovered that having a friend who recently filed for divorce could make you more likely to seek a separation from your spouse, according to an intriguing report from The Atlantic.


According to sources, researchers at Harvard, Brown, and UC-San Diego recently released the results of a long-term study that found people with friends who obtain a divorce are 75 percent more likely to seek a divorce.

And the trend seems to extend beyond close friends, too. According to the report, having an acquaintance go through a divorce increases your risk of divorce by 33 percent.

Due to these alarming results, the head researcher, Rose McDermott, writes that the divorce may “spread between friends.” She also observed that “[c]lusters of divorce extend to two degrees of separation in the network.”

The researchers discovered what they called “network contagion,” or the effect that the divorce of a close personal friend can have on one’s own relationship. Sources note that network contagion has also been found to play a role in people’s weight and the number of children they choose to have.

In addition, past studies have discovered that children from divorced parents are more likely to call a divorce lawyerchildren with parents who stick together.

This study, however, represents the first effort to gauge how a person’s social network influences his or her romantic relationships. And, remarkably, the influence not only extends to friends of a divorced couple, but also friends of those friends, with little regard for geographic distance.

The researchers hope their findings will help divorce professionals aid couples in reducing the negative effects of divorce. They also expressed hope that the findings would help strengthen the relationships of struggling couples.

According to McDermott, the researchers “suggest that attending to the health of one’s friends’ marriages might serve to support and enhance the durability of one’s own relationship.”

Of course, the study has been met with some criticism. Sources are quick to note that the researchers based their data on a survey of residents of Framingham, Massachusetts.

And despite the fact that this survey has been described by the Pew Research Center as “one of the country’s longest-running and most influential longitudinal surveys,” the surveyed group is more white, educated, and health than the median American.

As a result, the results may only apply to a certain subset of the American population. And while the social networking effects of divorce may certainly have a similar effect on other people, the data remains somewhat unclear.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

October 17th, 2013

Five Mistakes People Seeking Divorce Should Try to Avoid


Divorce can be a trying time, especially for couples who choose to go it alone, so it may help potential divorcees to consider a few key mistakes to avoid when filing for divorce.

Of course, in order to help avoid some of these mistakes, many people choose to hire a divorce lawyer to help guide them through the difficult process.


A recent report from the Huffington Post suggests that people filing for divorce should avoid five common mistakes while going through the separation process.

First, the report says couples should meet with a financial planner before going through divorce mediation. Sources say many people fight, for example, to keep their homes, when they can’t afford the homes in the first place.

It’s much wiser to approach mediation, or any divorce negotiation, with a clear idea of the assets you can afford to keep after reaching a divorce agreement. Make sure what you’re fighting to keep is actually worth keeping in the first place.

Second, people preparing for a divorce should get organized before they tell their spouse the news. This doesn’t mean you have to be dishonest, it simply means that you should prepare for the pending financial stress.

To this end, before you inform your spouse of your decision, sources suggest making a detailed inventory of your financial records, credit history, and future job prospects. Planning before a divorce is just as important as the separation process itself.

Third, sources recommend creating a support network early in the divorce process. Filing for divorce may be a very wise decision for many people, but it can also be emotionally trying.

So your best bet is to consult the aid of a therapist, or share your burden with friends or family, well before you begin to experience emotional trauma. Emotional health, just like financial health, is best protected by taking preventative measures.

Fourth, sources advise couples to not file for divorce in the heat of the moment. Some couples may simply be experiencing a difficult time, and would be best advised to take a few weeks to honestly assess the state of their marriage.

Of course, many couples may quickly come to the conclusion that divorce is their best option. Still, it’s important to catalog the specific reasons why you want a divorce, so you’re not making a poor decision.

Finally, sources recommend sticking with your job and not reducing your hours. Judges frown on this behavior, especially when it appears that one spouse is trying to secure more alimony from the other.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

October 10th, 2013

Affordable Care Act Could Lead to Increase in Divorce Filings


The Affordable Care Act, also known by the more loaded term “Obamacare,” may expand health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans, but could also have some unintended consequences.

One of these potential consequences is that the rate of people filing for divorce could rise, thanks to the financial freedom potentially afforded by broader access to health coverage, according to a report from the Washington Times.

According to sources, fear of losing health insurance is one of the primary reasons couples choose to stick together and refrain from filing a divorce.

And this fear of losing health insurance is supported by a recent finding by the University of Michigan that, every year, roughly 115,000 women lose their health insurance after reaching a divorce settlement.

The Michigan study also discovered that 25 percent of divorce women who lose coverage through their former spouse’s insurance fail to find new health insurance for at least six months after completing their divorce.

Even though the workforce continues to grow more diverse, many women still do not have employment outside the home, or work for companies that do not provide health coverage. In addition, the cost of getting COBRA coverage through a former spouse’s plan can be incredible expensive.

The problem is particularly acute for middle-income women eyeing a divorce. Low-income women are often able to turn to Medicaid, and wealthy women can simply afford their own coverage. And older women tend to have an even more difficult time securing insurance after divorce.

But this calculation could soon change, if the Affordable Care Act is as successful at broadening access to health care as it promises. And if it indeed expands access to health care, many couples who have decided to stick together for health insurance reasons could decide to finally split, sources say.

When the law kicks into gear on January 1, 2014, women mulling a divorce can enter the healthcare exchange to determine if they’ll be able to find affordable health insurance. If so, many couples may decide to go their separate ways.

Of course, while the new law could help many struggling couples, it could also create complications for filers and their divorce attorneys.

Sources believe the government’s health care plans could leads to lower alimony settlements, and could also lead to arguments about the quality of plan the spouse paying alimony can afford. But the law also offers much promise for couples who have stayed together out of financial necessity.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.