What factors might a judge consider in Elizabeth Hurley’s divorce?

Elizabeth Hurley has filed for divorce from her husband of four years, Arun Nayar.  She was worth 13 billion pounds or so, before they married, from her work as a model, actress, spokesperson and designer.  Hurley is also famous for her bad relationships.  She helped make Hugh Grant famous by staying at his side, as his girlfriend of 11 years, after he was caught paying a prostitute.  Then, after she and Grant split, she gave birth to a son but had to use a paternity test to convince the biological father of his role in the boy’s life.

Then, in 2007, she married Nayar, a supposed heir to a fortune, but it turns out she is worth substantially more money than he is.  He refused to sign a prenuptial agreement which might have protected her – and her son – in case of a divorce.  Hurley and Nayar have been separated for several months.  This was made public after she was caught kissing Australian cricket player Shane Warne.  (Shane Warne is divorced from his wife, still lives with her and their children and has been reportedly involved recently with an adult film actress.)

Hurley does not seem to have great luck with men.

So, when Elizabeth Hurley goes before divorce court what factors might a judge consider in how much of Hurley’s money to award to Nayar?

*          How much money did each party bring to the marriage?

*          What ability does each party have to earn money after the divorce?

*          How will Nayar’s lifestyle be effected if he is not supported by Hurley?

*          How will Hurley’s lifestyle be effected by having to support Nayar?

*          Has Nayar contributed to the support and well-being of Hurley’s son? If so, their may be a child-support offset to some of the award.

*          How much education does each party have?

*          Some jurisdictions consider the causes of the breakdown of the marriage.  Hurley has cited Nayar’s “irrational behavior” as the cause of the divorce and can probably substantiate Nayar’s relationship with a 23 year old model.

*          If Nayar is heir to a major textile fortune, as reported, he might stand to inherit significant money in the future.  If so, depending on how soon and how much he stands to inherit, a judge might weigh these factors against a need for Hurley to continue supporting him.

What we love:  The court’s first consideration must be, as must Hurley’s, the best interest of the minor child. So long as his interests are protected his mother might be out some money or his step-dad might be feeling the pinch soon; but the 8 year old should be fine.

 Let’s hope his mom starts making better decisions after this!

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Tony Danza waits 4 years from Separation to Divorce. Why?

 According to papers filed on Danza’s behalf in the LA County Superior Court, Tony and Tracy Danza married in 1986 and separated in 2006, yet they waited until now to file for a divorce.  What could be some of the advantages of waiting this long?

 *          Danza has three children.  His son from his first marriage,  now married with a son himself, and two daughters with Tracy Danza: 23 year old Katherine and 17 year old Emily.  When the couple first separated Emily was 12 years old and still a minor child.  In the current filing, Danza states that there are no minor children of the marriage.  So if Emily is no longer considered a minor in the eyes of the California court, it might be that the Danzas had decided to wait until she was older to finalize their divorce.  This can prevent the court’s ability to get involved with decisions such as custody, child support, and visitation; hopefully leaving mature adults to work it out together independently.

 *          Divorce can feel too permanent to people who might just “need a break” from each other.  Sometimes a temporary physical and emotional separation can remind people of why they married in the first place and bring them a stronger sense of commitment to each other and their marriage.  Maybe the Danza separation was based on a hope that it would be a temporary split, eventually bringing them back together.  If, after four years of separation, the parties still do not feel a mutual desire to reconcile, they can be pretty sure they never will.

Regardless of whether the separation was to protect the children from legal battles or with hopes of reconciliation or other reasons, the effect of going through an extended separation prior to filing for divorce is that the waiting period frequently serves to cool hot emotions. 

When one spouse feels that the other is in a rush to be divorced and “free” issues can become protracted and arguments get heated.  When there is an opportunity to allow everyone a long separation and a chance to cool off, the divorce itself can be as simple as a business transaction.

 There are ways of protecting your rights during a separation period. Many states have instituted court-sanctioned legal separation, as well as other alternatives to a final divorce.

WHAT WE LOVE:  low emotional content; cooler heads prevailing