Jon Gosselin May Wish To Stop The Divorce

Jon and Kate Gosselin

Jon and Kate Gosselin

In Touch Online is reporting the headline “Jon Gosselin Stops The Divorce.”  According to the reality TV dad’s attorney Mark Jay Heller, the attorney allegedly told In Touch with reference to Jon, “He woke up one morning, looked in the mirror and didn’t like the reflection …  he realized he’d made some bad choices.”

The reality is, in a California divorce, any party can initate and complete divorce proceedings even if the other party doesn’t agree.  This is what is meant that California is a “no fault” state when it comes to divorce.  To say that Jon Gosselin is “stopping” the divorce cannot be true.  There is a six month waiting period in California before parties to a dissolution of marriage or registered domestic partnership can be restored to the status of single people.  This is a statutorily designed waiting period in the case the couple reconicles and wishes to dismiss the initial filing of divorce.  This of course means if Jon Gosselin wants to “stop” the divorce, there is no question Kate would have to agree as well.

Jude Law Wants A Paternity Test

Jude Law

Jude Law

No sooner has the baby been born that model Samantha Burke is having her representatives negotiate a six-figure deal for pictures of the baby whose baby daddy is alleged to be Jude Law.  Although the famous actor purportedly paid for antenatal care, its been rumored this was an act of kindness rather than an outright admission Jude was the father.  According to News Of The World, Jude has refused to see  the newborn girl until a second DNA test proves he is the father.  According to the source, “He’s [Jude] is hoping for an early chance to establish he is genuinely her dad with another test.”

I am so mixed on how to treat this.  As a San Francisco Family Law attorney who has handled paternity cases and claims, I am happy the alleged father [Jude Law] is stepping forward and establishing his rights early.  I think more parents should do this when there is a dispute or question about the paternity of a child.  But it just looks bad when as soon as the baby is born, the story goes that the mother’s representatives are testing the market to see how much the first pictures of this child could fetch.  I’m not one to pass judgment but you have to wonder whether that money will go into a college fund for this child or somewhere else?    What do you think?

Tagged with:
Source; American Census Community Survey

Source; American Census Community Survey

California surprsingly is not at the top when it comes to that statistical divorce rate amongst couples.  That honor went to Wayne County where 19% of the people there are divorced according to newly released Census Bureau figures.  By state, Nevada had the highest rate at 14%.  The national average is at 10.7% of all people.  San Francisco appears to be near the national average. 

It is interesting to note that in the state of Nevada, you only need to be a resident for six weeks to have your marriage dissolved in that state.  In California, you need to be a resident of the state for six months and three months in the county where you file.  They don’t call it Sin City for nothing!  Divorce appears to be big business in Nevada. 

Credit:  Michael Dwyer Associated Press

Credit: Michael Dwyer Associated Press

According to the New York Times, associates of one time senator and Presidential candidate John Edwards say that he is considering declaring he is the father of Rielle Hunter’s 19 month-old daughter Frances.  This is contrary to his prior position where he flatly denied it was not possible on a prior television appearance.  The situation has given rise to a political controversy further compounded by grand jury testimony of Ms. Hunter.  Prosecutors are grappling with whether payments to a Presidential candidate’s mistress to ensure her silence are considered campaign donations and should be reported.

On the family law side, when it comes to using a DNA test to establish a “conclusive presumption” that John Edwards is the father of Frances, I am very curious as to why Ms. Hunter hasn’t initiated a paternity action in the family courts.  This could simply be a matter of politics.  In California, the courts make distinctions between biological parents (established by DNA) and presumed parents.  Since this is a blog and not a treatise I can’t explain what being a “presumed parent” means in a few sentences.  However, as a San Francisco Family Law Attorney, I can offer that in California, the courts often balance whether there is a marital family unit that needs to be protected meaning is there an existing “parent-child relationship between the child and the presumed parent” that should not be disturbed.

Cases have occurred where a Father by DNA is declared to be a biological parent, but is not a presumed parent because it was concluded that the child had established an emotional and financial relationship with someone other than the biological parent.  For this reason it is important for a biological parent to assert his paternity rights if they are in question immediately before the child emotionally and financially bonds with a person other than the biological parent.

The interesting issue with John Edwards is the possible legal effect of making payments (if proven to be true) out of campaign donations to support this child.  If there was a written promise to furnish support for Frances one must indeed wonder whether this impliedly means he has received the child into his home but so far he has not held the child out as his own in public.  For further answers to this complex area of the law, e-mail me.

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