The Atlanta Family Law News Blog - Find an Atlanta Family Attorney

December 2010 Archives

Camille Grammer May Get $50M Settlement

Nothing is finalized or at least official yet, but celebrity gossipers are expecting Camille Grammer to haul in a $50 million divorce settlement from television star Kelsey Grammer, according to the Los Angeles Times. The couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement, meaning property will likely be divided 50/50, and they amassed roughly $100 million during their 13 years of marriage, according to TMZ.

You can do the math.

So can Camille Grammer, who reportedly rejected the former "Frasier" star's $30 million settlement offer, as reported by CTV.

Sir Elton John, the 62-year-old songwriter and performer, announced that he and longtime 48-year-old partner David Furnish are proud new parents of a baby boy, Us Magazine reported. The child's full name is Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John.

Elton John explained to Us reporters how this had been a long process for them, after their adoption application been rejected by a Ukrainian orphanage:

"For many years we have talked about fulfilling one of our greatest wishes by becoming parents. And now this wish has been granted to us, we feel so blessed and lucky."

It is unconstitutional to arrest and jail someone for unpaid debts; unless it's for unpaid child support, which state authorities understandably take very seriously. But when a parent loses his or her job, or is otherwise unable to pay, is it right to keep that person locked up?

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution article questioned the practice of detaining indigent deadbeats in the context of Marietta war veteran Randy Miller's case. He's just one of more than 500 Georgia parents who are incarcerated for unpaid child support.

He told reporters he tried his best to keep up with child support payments after losing his job with AT&T by working odd jobs and using his tax refunds. But then the money ran out. He was put in jail recently for failure to pay child support for his teenage daughter, even though he only had 39 cents in his bank account at the time.

A-list actors Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds are heading for divorce, according to E! Online. The couple separated after two years of marriage and requested privacy, according to a statement by Ryan Reynolds' representative:

"After long and careful consideration on both our parts, we've decided to end our marriage. We entered our relationship with love and it's with love and kindness we leave it."

Hollywood divorces are not exactly rare occurrences; but what happened?

Suburban Chicago woman Dominique Buttitta, has filed a $95,942 lawsuit against now-former fiancé Vito Salerno after he got cold feet and dumped her just days before their planned wedding, according to an article that appeared at the Macedonia International News Agency's web site. An attorney herself, the jilted would-be bride is claiming damages for wedding costs, legal fees and for allegedly committing a "breach of promise" to marry offense.

While this particular case comes out of the Chicago area, it's important to Atlantans because Georgia has a "breach of promise" law similar to the one in Illinois. Very few states have such laws; but according to civil attorney John Zielinski, it's an easier case to argue than a personal injury suit for emotional distress.

Laurie Puhn, family law attorney, divorce mediator and author of "Fight Less, Love More," offered 10 suggestions to help spouses stay happily married in her recent Huffington Post column.

Most of the tips are quite simple and encourage open communication, trust and other qualities vital to a lasting relationship. She said she offers these 10 tips to her clients, along with a copy of her book.

Huffington Post contributor Amy Lee cited the National Marriage Project's most recent "State of Our Unions" study, asking whether divorce actually hurts the economy. One of the study's conclusions is that while marriage offers economic benefits, divorce is "very costly" to the public in general (PDF).

That report cited another study from 2002, "Does Marital History Matter? Marital Status and Wealth Outcomes Among Preretirement Adults," that compared those who had been married throughout adulthood to those who were not.

United Press International reported that a Georgia judge denied child custody to 42-year-old Lisa Lynette Clark, who gave birth to her then-15-year-old husband's son. She now goes by the name Lisa Gonzalez since marrying Adrian Gonzalez, now 20.

Lisa Gonzalez, of Gainesville, was convicted of statutory rape for her sexual relationship with the (at the time) teenage boy, according to Fox Atlanta. She served time in prison, where she gave birth to their son.

Their child, now four years old, has been raised by legal guardian Angela Perkins ever since his birth.

Is she or isn't she getting a divorce? It depends on which celebrity gossip web site or anonymous source you regularly read. But NeNe Leakes, a cast member of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," told People Magazine that they are living under the same roof and haven't begun the divorce process.

Rumors that NeNe Leakes was divorcing husband Gregg Leakes were bolstered by his interview on internet radio station Large FM, in which he blasted his wife and said he wanted her to return the money he'd spent to promote her. Audio of the interview can be found at The YBF.

Why Do Men Cheat?

Couples therapist Dr. Tracy Talmadge said research suggests that anywhere between 21 percent and 41 percent of married men have reported "some sort of cheating behavior," as quoted in a recent CBS Atlanta article. But while he claims there are plenty of reasons why men cheat, it's not always about the sex:

"We have these fantasies about what relationships will be like, and then we start to realize that our partners are human and flawed."

Nothing has been filed in court yet, but celebrity gossip web site Radar Online has reported that "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star NeNe Leakes has lawyered-up. The impending demise of her marriage to Gregg Leakes has been rumored for quite some time.

An unnamed source told Radar that NeNe and Gregg Leakes have been living "totally separate lives" lately:

"She stays in the main house most of the time with her two sons and if Gregg is around NeNe lives in another apartment."

Celebrity breakups and divorces often are ugly spectacles that bring out the worst in people. They're not much different from the divorces of regular folks, just amplified and shared for our entertainment pleasure. So it's quite refreshing to read about the reportedly civil interactions between divorcing spouses Eva Longoria and Tony Parker, as chronicled by the New York Daily News.

Eva Longoria, star of the television show "Desperate Housewives," filed for divorce from San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker last month soon after rumors of the basketball star's alleged infidelity surfaced. The TV star expressed outrage and disappointment to unnamed individuals cited by numerous celebrity gossip sites.

If the rumors are true, who would blame her?

Attorney Elliott Vogt, who's based in Phenix City, Alabama but was also licensed to practice in Georgia (before being disbarred), has been arrested on a contempt charge, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Authorities allege he handled cases after losing his state law licenses in both Georgia and Alabama.

Superior Court Judge Bobby Peters (the article didn't indicate which Alabama County) ordered Elliott Vogt held without bond after a recent hearing.