“Twilight” Star Michael Welch and Wife File for Divorce

“Twilight” star Michael Welch and wife Marissa Lefton have filed for divorce.

Welch and Lefton were married in 2008 and separated in 2011. The couple filed a joint petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

In California, a couple married less than 5 years can file a joint petition for summary dissolution of marriage if they (1) have no children; (2) do not own any real estate; and (3) have relatively modest assets and liabilities.

A summary dissolution proceeding is an attractive option for couples who qualify because it is less complicated and expensive than a traditional divorce. If you believe that you qualify for a summary dissolution, you should talk to a licensed attorney to discuss your legal rights and how to proceed.

Source: TMZ.com, “ ‘Twilight’ Star Michael Welch – Divorce on Valentine’s Day,” February 24, 2013

Canadian Supreme Court Rules that Unmarried Quebec Couples Have No Alimony Rights

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that unmarried Quebec couples who live together do not have a right to spousal support.

The court ruled 5-4 that Quebec’s civil code is constitutional insofar as it does not provide for alimony rights for unmarried couples. Quebec is the only province in Canada that does not recognize “de facto” (or common law) marriages.

The ruling stems from a high profile case involving the split of a Quebec billionaire from his Brazilian common-law wife, who sought a $50 million lump sum payment and spousal support in the amount of $56,000 per month. The couple has three children together.

In November 2010, the Quebec Court of Appeal reversed a lower court ruling and held that Quebec’s civil code is unconstitutional because it discriminates against common-law partners by denying them the same spousal support rights enjoyed by married couples.

The Supreme Court of Canada disagreed, holding that Quebec’s law promotes autonomy. Justice Louis LeBel wrote, “The Quebec National Assembly has not favo[]red one form of union over another. The legislature has merely defined the legal content of the different forms of conjugal relationships. It has made consent the key to changing the spouses’ mutual patrimonial relationship. In this way, it has preserved the freedom of those who wish to organize their patrimonial relationships outside the mandatory statutory framework.”

31.5% of couples in Quebec are in de facto relationships. The national average in Canada is 12.1%. According to a 2011 census, about 60% of children in Quebec are born to unmarried couples.

Source: CBC News, “Unmarried Quebec couples have no right to alimony, court rules,” January 25, 2013

Danica McKellar’s Divorce Finalized

Actress Danica McKellar’s divorce from Mike Verta has been finalized.

The couple married in 2009 and has a 2 year old son. McKellar filed for divorce in June 2012.

A judgment dissolving their marriage was entered by a California judge this past week. According to documents obtained by TMZ, a prenuptial agreement governed the settlement terms of their divorce.

Source: TMZ.com, “Danica McKellar Officially Single,” February 23, 2013

Deadbeat Celebrity Dads

According to a 2009 report from the Office of Child Support Enforcement, parents across the U.S. owe more than $100 billion in unpaid child support.

Celebrities are not immune from this problem. Huffington Post compiled the following list of celebrity offenders who have had trouble meeting their child support obligations:

1. Levi Johnston – Johnston had a child with Bristol Palin in 2008 and reportedly owed more than $38,000 after failing to make any support payments for 22 consecutive months, instead spending his money on guns, boats, and four-wheelers.

2. Dennis Rodman – the eccentric former Chicago Bulls star was found in contempt of court in December 2012 and ordered to pay $500,000 in back child support to his ex-wife Michelle. Rodman had been previously sentenced to 100 hours of community service for missing support payments in 2009 and 2010.

3. Bobby Brown – the R&B singer has five children with four women. Brown spent three days in jail in 2007 for failing to pay $20,000 in child support and attorney’s fees to Kim Ward. A radio station bailed him out of jail in exchange for a week of interviews and personal appearances.

4. Evander Holyfield – the former boxer was found in contempt in September 2012 when he failed to pay more than $500,000 for one of his daughters. Holyfield has 12 children with six women.

5. Val Kilmer – Joanne Whalley, Kilmer’s ex-wife, went after the actor in 2011 for falling behind on child support payments for their two kids. Kilmer previously agreed to pay $27,500 per month. Whaley twice obtained liens on Kilmer’s house to ensure that he pays up.

6. Peter Cook – ex-husband of Christie Brinkley. Brinkley took Cook to court for $6,000 in missed support payments and $32,000 for educational expenses. Cook claimed that Brinkley owed him $25,000 because he watched their children while she performed on Broadway.

7. Francois-Henry Pinault – in 2011, supermodel Linda Evangelista accused the French billionaire of failing to pay her anything for the support of their son Augie. Evangelista took Pinault to court in New York and reportedly sought $46,000 per month in child support. The parties settled their case for an undisclosed sum in May 2012.

8. Terrell Owens – the former NFL player has children with four different women. Despite earning $80 million during his football career, Owens claimed that he was broke in 2011. He was later found in contempt of court and ordered to perform community service at a Goodwill store in Los Angeles.

9. Jon Gosselin – the former “Jon & Kate Plus 8” star claimed that he was unable to pay rent because of the high cost of his child support payments to his ex-wife Kate. Kate’s attorney disputed Gosselin’s claims and asserted that he had been relieved of his child support duties.

10. Allen Iverson – the former NBA star’s ex-wife claimed that he stopped depositing money in a joint bank account that she was using to pay for rent and other expenses for their five children. The couple settled their divorce in January 2013 and Iverson reportedly paid Tawanna a $3 million lump sum for child support and agreed to share a percentage of his profits from his endorsement with Reebok.

11. Jermaine Dupri – the rapper/producer was ordered to pay $2,500 per month in child support to the mother of his baby girl. Dupri was unable to pay and was sued by the mother.

12. Skeet Ulrich – the “Scream” star was charged with contempt in January 2013 for failing to pay more than $280,000 in back support to his ex-wife (Georgina Cates) for their two children.

13. Flavor Flav – the Public Enemy rapper almost served 180 days in jail in 2012 for owing more than $111,000 in child back support to the mother of three of his children. Flav avoided jail time by coming up with $25,000 and agreeing to pay off the arrearages at a rate of $1,200 per month. The rap star has seven children.

14. Edward Furlong – in addition to being arrested for violating a restraining order in 2011, the “Terminator 2” actor owed $15,000 in child support to his ex-wife (Rachael Kneeland). Furlong told a judge that he was “completely broke.”

15. Nas – the rapper was ordered in April 2010 to pay more than $47,000 in back child support to his ex-wife, “Milkshake” singer Kelis. In 2011, his support obligation was reduced to $5,000 per month due to economic troubles.

Source: Huffington Post, “Deadbeat Parents: 16 Celebs Who Reportedly Had Trouble Making Child Support Payments,” February 21, 2013

Ex-CEO of Del Monte Agrees to Pay Wife $23 Million in Divorce Settlement

Former Del Monte chairman and CEO Vivian Imerman has agreed to pay his ex-wife Lisa Tchenguiz £15 million ($22.9 million) to settle their divorce.

Tchenguiz was born in Iran to Iraqi Jews who fled to London after the fall of the Shah (Mohammad Reza Pahlavi) in 1979. Her brothers, Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz, are successful property investors in the UK.

Imerman and Tchenguiz were married for seven years when she filed for divorce in 2008. The couple has one daughter (Ariella). Tchenguiz accused Imerman of having an affair with his 1st wife (Gina). Imerman claimed that he did not get involved with ex-wife until after Tchenguiz initiated the divorce proceedings.

Tchenguiz was reportedly seeking £100 million to settle the divorce, but thousands of documents that she sought to admit as evidence were thrown out by a British court when it was discovered that the documents were downloaded from Imerman’s computer by Tchenguiz’s brothers, who worked with Imerman.

In 2010, the court found that Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz breached Imerman’s confidence by taking the documents and giving them to Lisa.

Source: The Times, “ ‘Man from Del Monte’ settles long-running divorce,” Hannah Strange, February 22, 2013

Josh Brolin and Diane Lane to Divorce

Actors Josh Brolin and Diane Lane announced that they are separating and planning to divorce.

According to TMZ, a spokesperson for the couple announced their separation. Brolin and Lane were married in 2004 and have no children together.

Brolin was arrested for spousal battery a few months after their wedding, but the charges were later dropped.

Source: TMZ.com, “Josh Brolin and Diane Lane – We’re Divorcing,” February 21, 2013

“MADtv” Star’s Wife Files for Divorce

The wife of “MADtv” star Aries Spears has filed for divorce.

Elisa Larregui filed for divorce from Spears in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The couple has been married for 2 years and has a 3-year old son.

Larregui is seeking sole legal and physical custody of the child and wants supervised visitation for Spears.

Source: TMZ.com, “MADtv Star Aries Spears – Wife Files for Divorce,” February 21, 2013

Dwyane Wade’s Child Custody Battle Heats Up as Ex-Wife Accuses Him of Neglect

The ex-wife of Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade has filed court documents accusing him of neglecting their children and interfering with her visitation rights.

Siohvaughn Wade claims that the basketball star “has never obtained any asthma inhalers or asthma nebulizer machines” for their children and has endangered their lives. She is seeking a court order instructing Wade to be more attentive to the children’s medical needs and keep her informed about their medical treatment.

Siohvaughn also alleges that Wade has deprived her of parenting time with the children and is “making every effort to alienate the children from [her].”

Wade filed for divorce in 2007 and was awarded custody of the couple’s two children in March 2011. Siohvaughn was arrested last year for allegedly attempting to abduct the children.

Source: TMZ.com, “Dwyane Wade’s Ex-Wife – He’s Being a Huge Pain the Asthma,” February 20, 2013