Maria Shriver Files for Divorce from Arnold Schwarzenegger

According to the Associated Press, Maria Shriver, wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger, filed for divorce on Friday, July 1, after twenty-five years of marriage. Maria Shriver, Kennedy family heir and former television reporter, has claimed that their marriage is irretrievable broken and has listed “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the divorce on the divorce decree.

Problems with the marriage surfaced six weeks ago after the governor confirmed he had fathered a child with a former family housekeeper.

The Schwarzenegger’s were married in 1986. They have four children, but Maria Shriver is requesting joint custody of their two minor children who are ages 13 and 17. Evidence also suggests the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement and given California’s property distribution law, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s earnings from his movie career may be divided with his future ex-wife.

Schwarzenegger has been accused of indiscretions before, most notably during his bid for the governorship of California in 2003. Although there were accusations that Schwarzenegger groped several women, Shriver was supportive even after her husband admitted that he has “behaved badly sometimes”.

Schwarzenegger, who left office in January, has decided that he may attempt to return to Hollywood. He is rumored to be working with Stan Lee, comic book legend, on an animation project, but the project was postponed after he admitted he had an affair. California, where he was governor for two terms, is facing an economic crisis and devastating budget issues.

Shriver has not announced her future career aspirations, but she shelved a successful journalism career when her husband became governor.
Comments about the impending divorce were not provided by either Schwarzenegger’s spokesman Adam Mendelsohn or Shriver’s attorney Laura Wasser.

Filing Divorce in California

State divorce laws vary, but in the state California, a couple may divorce or legally separate on grounds of irreconcilable differences which have caused an irretrievable breakdown of their marriage or one of the spouses is found to be incurably insane.

California is considered a community property state and unless otherwise allowed by statute, property acquired by the couple during the marriage is divided equally between the spouses in a California divorce.

The courts will also determine the amount of spousal support which must be paid in the divorce after evaluating the following:

• The ability of each spouse to maintain their standard of living.
• The ability of each spouse to find employment and support themselves
• How each spouse’s earning capacity was impaired by their domestic duties during the marriage
• The amount each spouse contributed to the training, education, career position or license of the other party
• The ability of each party to maintain their standard of living established during the marriage
• The ability of the spouses to be employed given their parental responsibilities
• The length of the marriage
• The age and health of each party
• Evidence of domestic violence
• Tax considerations

The courts must also review a variety of factors to determine who will have custody of minor children in a California divorce. Child support and child custody can be one of the most highly contentious divorce issues.

If you are considering a divorce in California, contact a California divorce lawyer. Do not make any important decisions in your California divorce without getting good legal assistance.