Celebrity divorces not only attract a media blitz, but they actually open up an opportunity to teach the general public about family law and how different states treat family issues in court. In the case of Eva Longoria and Tony Parker, we are faced with a sort of déjà vu related to Sandra Bullock and Jesse James’ recent Texas divorce.
What’s the connection? In both cases, divorcing parties chose to file papers in Texas. News of the Longoria-Parker split developed when Longoria reportedly filed in California a couple of weeks ago. A mere couple of days later, Parker followed suit, but he did so in a Texas court house.
That move on Parker’s part has critics suspecting that the NBA star sees the benefits of filing in Texas and is trying to protect his assets from California divorce court. According to the Los Angeles Times, Texas law only considers regulating spousal support for marriages that have lasted a decade or longer.
Because Longoria and Parker have only been married since 2007, a Texas divorce would likely mean that the wealthier spouse would not be required to make spousal maintenance payments to his or her ex once the marriage is over. A settlement between the couple, of course, could be reached regarding such payments, but the fact that Parker filed in Texas has critics thinking he did so for personally beneficial financial reasons.
As the split between Bullock and James exemplified, a Texas divorce also offers another benefit: speed. Compared to a California divorce that would take at least six months to go from filed to finalized, Texas law accommodates couples who want to move on with their separate lives by making the dissolution official in as little as 60 days. Such speed, however, might not be possible if the parties disagree on certain details of the divorce, including spousal support and property division.
Whether such disagreements actually exist between the celebrity duo is mere speculation at this point. We will be sure to post an update about this family law case as more details are confirmed.
Los Angeles Times, Ministry of Gossip Blog: “Tony Parker files for divorce from Eva Longoria, Texas-style,” 22 Nov. 2010