Chicago native Dwyane Wade was part of the winning team in the NBA championship game on Father's Day, but his sister had spent the night before trying to locate the basketball star's ex-wife and two young children. Wade and his ex-wife have argued over custody and visitation since their 2010 divorce. In fact, one judge involved in the case said that the effect on the boys, now 10 and 5, was "the saddest thing."
Illinois has a lot to be grateful for in the area of family law. For example, for almost 20 years now, the state's spousal maintenance law has recognized that both wives and husbands make financial contributions to the marriage. Property division is handled more equitably than it had been in the past, and than it is in other states. And, notably, the judge cannot base a maintenance award on marital misconduct.
We have been talking about the things we can learn from celebrity divorces. There are some problems most of us will never have -- who will get the Paris condo or the Rolls Royce collection? -- but the rich and famous face many of the same challenges the rest of us do when a marriage ends, because a divorce is not just a legal or an emotional matter. It touches every aspect of a person's life.
Danica McKellar of "The Wonder Years" filed for divorce last week. It looks as if Kobe Bryant and his wife may reconcile. In their home state, a divorce is not final for at least six months after filing, and the waiting period is up but the documents aren't signed. Oprah Winfrey is promoting her interview with Kim Kardashian by promising stunning revelations about the celebrity's short-lived marriage. Mel Gibson's family troubles have been out of the headlines for a while, though a new book about him promises stories about his infamous temper.
To the public, the 1999 marriage of Courteney Cox and David Arquette may have looked a little off balance. Cox was in the middle of the enormously popular television series "Friends"; Arquette didn't seem quite as A-list. When the couple separated in 2010, gossip columns speculated that she had outshone him professionally, and the relationship had suffered as a result.
Court actions can be complex when divorcing couples dispute child custody. Spouses sometimes accuse one another of being unfit parents to make a case for primary custody. For child custody cases that cross international lines, the road to resolution is even more difficult, especially when one country involved has not signed The Hague Convention treaty designed to prevent parental child abductions.
June is the month when people linger on coffee shop patios, often listening to others chat endlessly about summer plans. Not surprisingly, many of those plans involve weddings. When the skeptics among us find themselves sipping a frappuccino outside of a Libertyville Starbucks and listening to brides- and grooms-to-be talk about all the details that go into a wedding, these skeptics are asking themselves two questions. First, do these anxious and excited soon-to-be-marrieds know it's very likely they'll end up divorced? And, second, do they have insurance?
It would be a great idea if you could buy insurance against divorce -- something with a higher deductible for marriages that didn't last long, or rates that adjusted up or down as your children grew up. Teenagers add more stress to a household, so the rates would be higher to cover the increased risk of splitting up. Rates and deductibles could also be different for couples that choose divorce mediation over litigation.
The First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has entered the ever-escalating battle that same-sex marriage has become. The court ruled this week that the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act does in fact discriminate against same-sex married couples. However, same-sex couples hoping for nationwide acceptance of their right to marry, to have children and even to divorce will have to wait a little bit longer: The court said DOMA will remain in full effect until the U.S. Supreme Court has reviewed the law.