With a signature from Governor Jon S. Corzine last week, the New Jersey no-fault divorce bill previously detailed here at Total Divorce became law, and one local sports celebrity immediately took advantage of the "fast-break opportunity."
Immediately after the January 23rd signature of the New Jersey divorce law reducing the waiting period for divorce finalization from 18 to six months, New Jersey Nets' star basketball player Jason Kidd filed new divorce papers citing irreconcilable differences with his wife Joumana.
Previous New Jersey divorce law required a spouse to cite emotional or physical cruelty in order to expedite the divorce process. In his initial divorce filing on January 9th, Kidd alleged that Joumana physically and emotionally abused him during the 10-year marriage and cited this supposed extreme cruelty as the reason for divorce.
Kidd's New Jersey divorce lawyer, Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, said her client decided to cite irreconcilable differences in order to speed up the process. Unfortunately for the entire Kidd family, the passage of this law came a little too late to preserve the peace, as the initial Jason Kidd divorce filing led to some widespread allegations from both spouses.
Specifically, Jason Kidd alleged that his wife had used their 8-year-old son T.J. to get into the Nets' locker room during a December 27th game of last year. Kidd then said that Joumana rummaged through his personal belongs before returning to a front-row seat and swearing at the point guard throughout the rest of the game.
Kidd also claimed that Joumana installed tracking devices in his vehicles and kicked him, hit him, and threw objects at him during their 10-year marriage. The day prior to filing his initial dissolution, Jason received an order of protection against his wife. Joumana Kidd then responded by requesting her own domestic violence restraining order against her husband.
These Joumana and Jason Kidd divorce allegations are not the first time the couple has been in the headlines for negative publicity. Back in January 2001, Jason was arrested following an incident in which Joumana said he hit her during an argument over T.J. Then a member of the Phoenix Suns, Kidd plead guilty to spousal abuse and had to undergo anger management counseling.
The allegations in the Joumana and Jason Kidd divorce proceedings are exactly what proponents of the recently-passed New Jersey no-fault divorce law argued on its behalf. Those in favor of this New Jersey no-fault divorce law have said that it would better allow couples to get on with their lives and avoid drawn-out disputes in which similar types of allegations would be avoided. Opponents to the New Jersey no-fault divorce law countered that six months was not enough time to determine if divorce was absolutely necessary.
While the current New Jersey divorce law aims to combat such problems, the Joumana and Jason Kidd divorce teach some important lessons about how brutal the divorce process can get, especially when it's an NBA divorce in the public eye, and the value of remembering your children's feelings.
In addition to personal feelings for a spouse, the divorce process may often be complicated by other factors including child support, property division, money (Jason Kidd makes $18 million per season!) and much more. While Jason Kidd proposed that shared physical custody of the couple's three children, which include two twin girls, was in the best interests of everyone, the allegations have already been pretty ugly. This is usually never a good thing when children are involved!
While divorce disputes may get quite heated, it is important for parents to take into account the feelings of their children and live up to the responsibility of allowing their children to move on in a healthy and productive manner.