Sometimes a separation doesn’t necessarily mean a divorce. At least not if you’re a high-powered celebrity couple.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver are a prime example. In July of 2011, Shriver filed for divorce from Schwarzenegger after 15 years of marriage. Now, five years later, the couple has done nothing to finalize the separation.
Shriver’s petition for divorce was prompted by Schwarzenegger’s infidelity. The Austrian-born actor and two-term governor of California reportedly had an extramarital affair with the couple’s housekeeper, Mildred Patricia Baena. The relationship resulted in a child that was born just five days after Shriver gave birth to their youngest kid.
Yet the marriage continues. The couple did not have a pre-nuptial agreement, although TMZ reports that a “financial settlement was worked out a long time ago” as of November 2015. They have a marital estate worth somewhere around $400 million. There also are no custody concerns because all of their children are adults.
This seemingly bizarre situation is also playing out with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s separation as well.
The Hollywood power couple decided to split up last June, but there hasn’t been any indication that the two plan to do so legally. Neither party has filed a petition for divorce. In fact, Affleck lives in the guesthouse on the same property as Garner and their three children.
There is speculation that the children are the reason for the lack of proceedings. Affleck and Garner are continuing to care for their children together and have even taken trips as a family. It truly may be a situation of staying together—somewhat—for the kids.
This situation is not unprecedented. Parents occasionally do feel compelled to continue a marriage until the kids are out of the house. However, that doesn’t mean folks in these situations can’t take measures to protect themselves or their futures.
For instance, this would be a good time for a post-nuptial agreement. Courts honor these agreements just as they would a pre-nuptial agreement, meaning a separated but not divorced couple could save themselves the anguish later when they do formalize the split.
Family law cases vary greatly. The lawyers at the Men’s Divorce Law Firm understand the diversity of individuals’ experiences and can guide you along your unique path. Call 321-DIVORCE today to set up a consultation.