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Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Douglas is being sued by his ex-wife, Diandra Douglas, who is claiming that she is entitled to 50 percent of his earnings from the upcoming 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' as part of her divorce settlement from the actor, according to the New York Post. Michael and Diandra divorced in 2000, and he is currently married to actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, with whom he has two children, Dylan, 9, and Carys, 7.

If it seems strange that Diandra would be seeking her share of her ex-husband's salary for a movie he made a decade after their divorce was finalized ... well, it is. The suit appears to hinge on a clause in Michael and Diandra's divorce settlement that entitles her to 50 percent of any earnings Michael receives from any movies he did -- including residuals, merchandising and ancillary rights -- during their 23-year marriage. According to Diandra's lawyers, that provision includes any "spinoffs" of Douglas' movies.
The 1987 smash 'Wall Street' -- for which Michael won the Best Actor Oscar for his classic turn as Gordon Gekko -- was released during their marriage, and with the sequel set to hit theaters in September, Diandra is ramping up her case. "It's the same character, the same title, just years later," her lawyer, Nancy Chemtob, told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper at a hearing last Wednesday.Marilyn Chinitz, Michael's lawyer, however, simply thinks this is a case of life imitating art, with Diandra taking the famed Gordon Gekko line "greed is good" to heart.
"He doesn't want her to be an albatross around his neck forever," Chinitz said.
Michael and Diandra's divorce remains one of the costliest in Hollywood history. The pair's split was bitter, to say the least, with Diandra accusing Michael of sex and alcohol addiction and multiple infidelities. In 2007, Forbes magazine compiled a list of the 10 most expensive celebrity divorces and listed the Douglases' at number eight. Diandra walked away with an estimated $45 million and the couple's homes in Beverly Hills and Majorca.

Michael's legal team is seeking to have the case dismissed, arguing that the suit should never have been filed in New York in the first place, as the couple's divorce was finalized in California, and that the case has no merit because 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' is a sequel, not a "spinoff." "They're not the same thing," Chinitz said in court.
Diandra's lawyer told the judge she filed the suit in New York because both she and Michael currently reside in the city, and noted that there's no legal reason the case can be heard only in California. Justice Cooper has delayed ruling while he considers whether he should keep the case or send it back to a California court; however, he revealed that he believes there is indeed a difference between a spinoff and a sequel.Michael and Diandra recently came together to support their son, Cameron, who was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in dealing methamphetamine and cocaine in New York City. During Cameron's April sentencing, Michael, who along with Diandra, Zeta-Jones and Kirk Douglas asked the judge for leniency, took a swipe at his ex-wife in a letter to the judge, describing Diandra as "a young mother without any parenting skills handed down from her own parents."
Moral of the story: SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS ARE BINDING! Make sure you clarify property settlements.

Divorce Lawyers LOVE Facebook


Forgot to de-friend your wife on Facebook while posting vacation shots of your mistress? Her divorce lawyer will be thrilled.

Oversharing on social networks has led to an overabundance of evidence in divorce cases. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81 percent of its members have used or faced evidence plucked from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites, including YouTube and LinkedIn, over the last five years.

"Oh, I've had some fun ones," said Linda Lea Viken, president-elect of the 1,600-member group. "It's very, very common in my new cases."

Facebook is the unrivaled leader for turning virtual reality into real-life divorce drama, Viken said. Sixty-six percent of the lawyers surveyed cited Facebook foibles as the source of online evidence, she said. MySpace followed with 15 percent, followed by Twitter at 5 percent.

About one in five adults uses Facebook for flirting, according to a 2008 report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. But it's not just kissy pix with the manstress or mistress that show up as evidence. Think of Dad forcing son to de-friend mom, bolstering her alienation of affection claim against him.

"This sort of evidence has gone from nothing to a large percentage of my cases coming in, and it's pretty darn easy," Viken said. "It's like, `Are you kidding me?'"

Neither Viken, in Rapid City, S.D., nor other divorce attorneys would besmirch the attorney-client privilege by revealing the identities of clients, but they spoke in broad terms about some of the goofs they've encountered:

_ Husband goes on Match.com and declares his single, childless status while seeking primary custody of said nonexistent children.

_ Husband denies anger management issues but posts on Facebook in his "write something about yourself" section: "If you have the balls to get in my face, I'll kick your ass into submission."

_ Father seeks custody of the kids, claiming (among other things) that his ex-wife never attends the events of their young ones. Subpoenaed evidence from the gaming site World of Warcraft tracks her there with her boyfriend at the precise time she was supposed to be out with the children. Mom loves Facebook's Farmville, too, at all the wrong times.

_ Mom denies in court that she smokes marijuana but posts partying, pot-smoking photos of herself on Facebook.

The disconnect between real life and online is hardly unique to partners de-coupling in the United States. A DIY divorce site in the United Kingdom, Divorce-Online, reported the word "Facebook" appeared late last year in about one in five of the petitions it was handling. (The company's caseload now amounts to about 7,000.)

Divorce attorneys Ken and Leslie Matthews, a husband and wife team in Denver, Colo., don't see quite as many online gems. They estimated 1 in 10 of their cases involves such evidence, compared to a rare case or no cases at all in each of the last three years. Regardless, it's powerful evidence to plunk down before a judge, they said.

"You're finding information that you just never get in the normal discovery process — ever," Leslie Matthews said. "People are just blabbing things all over Facebook. People don't yet quite connect what they're saying in their divorce cases is completely different from what they're saying on Facebook. It doesn't even occur to them that they'd be found out."

Social networks are also ripe for divorce-related hate and smear campaigns among battling spousal camps, sometimes spawning legal cases of their own.

"It's all pretty good evidence," Viken said. "You can't really fake a page off of Facebook. The judges don't really have any problems letting it in."

The attorneys offer these tips for making sure your out-loud personal life online doesn't wind up in divorce court:

WHAT YOU SAY CAN AND WILL BE HELD AGAINST YOU

If you plan on lying under oath, don't load up social networks with evidence to the contrary.

"We tell our clients when they come in, `I want to see your Facebook page. I want you to remember that the judge can read that stuff so never write anything you don't want the judge to hear,'" Viken said.

BEWARE YOUR FRENEMIES

Going through a divorce is about as emotional as it gets for many couples. The desire to talk trash is great, but so is the pull for friends to take sides.

"They think these people can help get them through it," said Marlene Eskind Moses, a family law expert in Nashville, Tenn., and current president of the elite academy of divorce attorneys. "It's the worst possible time to share your feelings online."

A PICTURE MAY BE WORTH ... BIG BUCKS

Grown-ups on a good day should know better than to post boozy, carousing or sexually explicit photos of themselves online, but in the middle of a contentious divorce? Ken Matthews recalls photos of a client's partially naked estranged wife alongside pictures of their kids on Facebook.

"He was hearing bizarre stories from his kids. Guys around the house all the time. Men running in and out. And there were these pictures," Matthews said.

PRIVACY, PRIVACY, PRIVACY

They're called privacy settings for a reason. Find them. Get to know them. Use them. Keep up when Facebook decides to change them.

Viken tells a familiar story: A client accused her spouse of adultery and he denied it in court. "The guy testified he didn't have a relationship with this woman. They were just friends. The girlfriend hadn't put security on her page and there they were. `Gee judge, who lied to you?'"

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sandra's Divorce is Final


SANDRA BULLOCK OFFICIALLY DIVORCED
Sources tell TMZ both Sandra and Jesse signed the final documents last week. Sealed documents have been filed with the clerk's office in Travis County, Texas -- sources tell us they are the papers making the divorce final. Sandra filed for divorce back on April 23, saying the marriage "has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities."And sources say the divorce clears the way for Sandra to complete a single parent adoption.
How did it happen so fast?
The divorce is filed in Texas, which has a 60-day waiting period for divorce. Compare this to California's 6-month waiting period. Florida has a 20-day waiting period. New York does not have a waiting period.
Note that this "waiting period" in California is a cooling-off period, mandated by the Legislature. No divorce filed in California can be finalized (Judgment obtained) prior to six months from the date the other party was served.
Also note that the waiting period is a "minimum" period. Should the divorce be litigated (and many divorces are!), the issues can take many YEARS to resolve.
So here is another logical question - why doesn't everyone just file for divorce in a state that doesn't have a cooling off period?
Answer: You can only file in your chosen state if you fulfill residency requirements. In California, you may file here if you have resided in the state for 6 months, and the county in which you wish to file for 3 months. In Texas, same - 6 months. In Florida, same - 6 months. In New York, you can file if: 1) The parties were married in the state and either party is a resident thereof when the action is commenced and has been a resident for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding; 2) The parties have resided in this state as husband and wife and either party is a resident thereof when the action is commenced and has been a resident for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding; 3) The cause occurred in the state and either party has been a resident thereof for a continuous period of at least one year immediately preceding the commencement of the action; or 4) The cause occurred in the state and both parties are residents thereof at the time of the commencement of the action; or 5) Either party as been a resident of the state for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the commencement of the action.
Moral of the story: You can get married anywhere. Divorce is a bit trickier.
Get a prenup.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Marriage and Business Don't Mix


Why Spouses Make Lousy Business Partners
By Stephen J. Dunn, Forbes.comToday

Last month I wrote a column for Forbes about the tax reasons that spouses make lousy business partners. First, business-related tax problems could threaten both spouses' assets and credit if they're partners. Second, if the marriage sours, one spouse might call in the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the other.

Now, from my own practice comes a case that makes my point. Ron, a longtime client, has given me permission to tell his story, provided he's not identified, as a warning to others. Ron called a few months ago. He said that he had found some correspondence indicating that his wife was having an affair. In the correspondence Ron's wife said that she was going to leave Ron in June of this year. In June they would have been married five years, and she would have, at that point, been entitled to a share of Ron's property under their prenuptial agreement. (She is Ron's second wife.)

At about the same time Ron began noting that key financial documentation of his business was missing. A flash drive containing sales and cash receipts data was missing. Ron's wife worked as the bookkeeper of his business. I asked Ron whether he had been reporting all of his business income on his tax returns. Ron said that he had not reported some income that he had been paid in cash.

I told Ron that it was a scenario I had seen all too many times in the past. She was going to divorce him and use his tax exposure to leverage a better financial settlement for herself in the divorce, and possibly report Ron to the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.

I advised Ron to see a divorce attorney. Ron was reluctant. He wondered if the facts really meant what they so clearly did mean (to all the world except Ron). He talked about reconciling with his wife.

I also advised Ron to do a voluntary disclosure with the IRS. This was an agonizing decision for Ron, as it would cost him dearly in additional tax and interest, and possibly penalties, as well as legal and accounting fees. But it would prevent Ron from being prosecuted for having failed to report some of his income.

Ron followed my advice. His divorce is nearly final. The IRS notified Ron two weeks ago that his voluntary disclosure had been accepted, meaning he isn't at risk of being prosecuted.

Last week a divorce attorney representing Ron's wife called Ron's divorce attorney and, not surprisingly, mentioned the income that had been omitted from Ron's tax returns.

Yesterday Ron received a text message from his soon-to-be ex-wife. In the message she acknowledged that she would not receive any of Ron's property because he "had all of his ducks lined up." She specifically mentioned Ron's voluntary disclosure to the IRS. Neither Ron, his divorce attorney nor I had mentioned the voluntary disclosure to Ron's wife or to her attorney. How do you suppose she learned of it? Is it possible she herself had gone to the IRS in search of an informant's reward? (For more on IRS and informants, click here.)

Stephen J. Dunn is a tax attorney in Birmingham, Mich., adjunct lecturer in the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business and author. Write to him at steve@demolaw.com.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Japanese couples say "I do" -- in divorce ceremonies


By Laurel Moorhead Laurel Moorhead
TOKYO (Reuters) – With divorce on the rise in Japan, some couples are choosing to celebrate the end of an unhappy marriage by saying "I do" for a final time at a divorce ceremony before friends and family.

Divorce ceremonies were pioneered about a year ago by a former salesman, Hiroki Terai, who set up a "divorce mansion" in a small undercover space in Tokyo.

Since then about 25 couples have each paid 55,000 yen ($606) to hold a ceremony with all the pomp and grandeur of a wedding that publicly ends their relationship before they officially file for divorce. Terai said he had received more than 900 inquiries.

The latest couple, who called themselves Mr. and Mrs. Fujii, met near Sensoji Temple in Tokyo's traditional Asakusa area on Sunday and rode in separate rickshaws to the "divorce mansion."
"By putting an end to our marriage, we wanted to give ourselves fresh starts and give our lives a sense of renewal," Mr. Fujii, a 33-year-old businessman, told Reuters Television.
He said he felt responsible for the failure of his marriage as he spent too much time away from home and too much money on his various interests including cars - despite numerous warnings from his wife.
Friends and family of the Fujii couple followed closely behind the rickshaws on foot, arriving at the "divorce mansion" for a ceremony where they smashed their wedding ring with a gavel, a gesture signifying the end of their partnership.
The gavel has a frog's head as frogs symbolize change in Japanese culture.
"When we smashed the ring together, I felt like "oh, this is the end of it, really" and my heart and soul felt renewed. Now I feel I can have a new life and start all over again," said Mr. Fujii.
His wife of eight years also expressed her relief.
"The moment I saw the smashed ring, I said to myself, "Yes! That feels so good,"" Mrs. Fujii said.
Terai, who is believed to be Japan's first "divorce ceremony planner," came up with the idea of divorce ceremonies to help couples celebrate their decision to separate after one of his friends was going through a bitter divorce.
Divorce is on the rise in Japan where it was once taboo with about 251,000 divorces taking place in 2008, partly blamed on the poor economy taking its toll on romance.
Next month Terai heads off on his first business venture abroad to Korea to officially divorce a couple in Seoul.
"I started this ceremony in April last year thinking that there should be a positive way to end a marriage and move on by making a vow to restart their lives in front of loved ones," Terai said.
(Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Divorce, No-Fault Style


By Stephanie Coontz

FORTY years after the first true no-fault divorce law went into effect in California, New York appears to be on the verge of finally joining the other 49 states in allowing people to end a marriage without having to establish that their spouse was at fault. Supporters argue that no-fault will reduce litigation and conflict between divorcing couples. Opponents claim it will raise New York’s divorce rate and hurt women financially.
So who’s right? The history of no-fault divorce may provide some answers as the New York State Assembly takes up its versions of the divorce legislation passed by the Senate on Tuesday. Before no-fault, most states required one spouse to provide evidence of the other spouse’s wrongdoing (like adultery or cruelty) for a divorce to be granted, even if both partners wanted out. Legal precedent held that the party seeking divorce had to be free from any “suspicion that he has contributed to the injury of which he complains” — a pretty high bar for any marital dispute.
In 1935, for example, reviewing the divorce suit of Louise and Louis Maurer, the Oregon State Supreme Court acknowledged that the husband was so domineering that his wife and children lived in fear. But, the court noted, the wife had also engaged in bad behavior (she was described as quarrelsome). Therefore, because neither party came to the court “with clean hands,” neither deserved to be released from the marriage.

As the Maurer case suggests, such stringent standards of fault often made it easier for couples who got along relatively well to divorce than for people in mutually destructive relationships. Cooperating couples would routinely fabricate grounds for their divorce, picking one party as the wrongdoer.

This strategy was so common in the 1950s that divorce cases seemingly gave the lie to Tolstoy’s famous observation that every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. “Victim” after “victim” testified that the offending spouse had slapped him or her with exactly the same force and in exactly the same places that the wording of the law required. A primary motivation for introducing no-fault divorce was, in fact, to reduce perjury in the legal system.

Initially, some states limited no-fault divorce to cases in which both partners wanted to dissolve the marriage. In theory, limiting no-fault to mutual consent seemed fairer to spouses who wanted to save their marriages, but in practice it perpetuated the abuses of fault-based divorce, allowing one partner to stonewall or demand financial concessions in return for agreement, and encouraging the other to hire private investigators to uncover or fabricate grounds for the court. Expensive litigation strained court resources, while the couple remained vulnerable to subjective rulings based on a judge’s particular opinion about what a spouse should put up with in a marriage.

Eventually every state except New York moved to what is in effect unilateral no-fault, wherein if one party insisted that his or her commitment to the marriage had irretrievably ended, that person could end the union (albeit with different waiting periods). New York has been the holdout in insisting that a couple could get a no-fault divorce only if both partners agreed to secure a separation decree and then lived apart for one year. Otherwise, the party who wanted the divorce had to prove that the other was legally at fault.

In every state that adopted no-fault divorce, whether unilateral or by mutual consent, divorce rates increased for the next five years or so. But once the pent-up demand for divorces was met, divorce rates stabilized. Indeed, in the years since no-fault divorce became well-nigh universal, the national divorce rate has fallen, from about 23 divorces per 1,000 married couples in 1979 to under 17 per 1,000 in 2005.

Even during the initial period when divorce rates were increasing, several positive trends accompanied the transition to no-fault. The economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers of the University of Pennsylvania report that states that adopted no-fault divorce experienced a decrease of 8 to 16 percent in wives’ suicide rates and a 30 percent decline in domestic violence.
Social changes always involve trade-offs. Unilateral divorce increases the risk that a partner who invests in her (or more rarely, his) marriage rather than in her own earning power, and does not engage in “bad behavior,” may suffer financially as well as emotionally if the other partner unilaterally ends the marriage. When courts have not taken this sacrifice into account in dividing property, homemakers have been especially disadvantaged.

Fairer division of marital assets can reduce the severity of this problem. And fault can certainly be taken into account in determining spousal support if domestic violence or other serious marital misbehavior has reduced the other party’s earning power.

Still, the ability of one partner to get a divorce over the objections of the other may create an atmosphere in which people think twice before making sacrifices that will be costly if the marriage ends. Professor Stevenson found that in states that allow unilateral divorce, individuals tend to be slightly less likely to invest in marriage-related capital, like putting the partner through school, and more likely to focus on building individual, portable capital, like pursuing their own education or job experience.

Unilateral divorce has decreased the bargaining power of the person who wants the marriage to last and has not engaged in behavior that meets the legal definition of fault. On the other hand, it has increased the bargaining power of the person who is willing to leave. So while some marriages end more quickly than they otherwise would, other couples enter marital counseling because one partner’s threat of divorce convinces the other that it is time to work seriously on the relationship.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, it is more often the wife than the husband who is ready to leave. Approximately two-thirds of divorces — including those that come late in life — are initiated by wives. Paula England, a senior fellow at the Council on Contemporary Families, found that surveys that separately ask divorced wives and husbands which one wanted the divorce confirm that more often it was the woman who wanted out of the marriage. This jibes with research showing that women are physiologically and emotionally more sensitive to unsatisfactory relationships.

It’s true that unilateral divorce leaves the spouse who thinks the other’s desire to divorce is premature with little leverage to slow down the process or to pressure the other partner into accepting counseling. It allows some individuals to rupture relationships for reasons many would consider shallow and short-sighted.

But once you permit the courts to determine when a person’s desire to leave is legitimate, you open the way to arbitrary decisions about what is or should be tolerable in a relationship, made by people who have no stake in the actual lives being lived. After all, there is growing evidence that marital counseling can repair some marriages even after infidelity, which New York has long accepted as a fault sufficient to end a marriage. But that does not mean New York should reduce its existing grounds for divorce even further.

A far better tack is to encourage couples to mediate their parting rather than litigate it, especially if children are involved. In a 12-year study of divorcing couples randomly assigned to either mediation or litigation, the psychologist Robert Emery of the University of Virginia and his colleagues found that as little as five to six hours of mediation had powerful and long-term effects in reducing the kinds of parental conflict that produce the worst outcomes for children. Parents who took part in mediation settled their disputes in half the time of parents who used litigation; they were also much more likely to consult with each other after the divorce about children’s discipline, moral training, school performance and vacation plans.

Paradoxically, people who went through mediation were also more likely to express regret over the divorce in the ensuing years than those who litigated. But New York legislators should face the hard truth that there are always trade-offs in the imperfect world of intimate relationships. To my mind it is better to have regrets about the good aspects of your former marriage because you were able to work past some of your accumulated resentments than to have no regrets because you had to ratchet up the hostility to get out in the first place.

Stephanie Coontz, a professor of history at Evergreen State College, is the author of “Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage” and the forthcoming history “A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s.”

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Importance of a Divorce Judgment!


GETTING TO JUDGMENT
"But I thought I was already divorced!?"
I have practiced divorce and family law for over a decade. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I HEARD THIS SILLY STATEMENT?
FIRST, obviously, Judgment is important because it concludes your case.

I think many clients confuse Judgment with temporary Orders, which we often see in a divorce case.

In California, there is a waiting period prior to entry of Judgment. (6 months after proper service of the initial papers). Prior to entry of Judgment, temporary Orders are often secured and enforced. (aka "pendente lite", which means pending litigation).
This leads me to the SECOND reason obtaining a JUDGMENT is important in your case.
In a divorce case, though the pre-Judgment orders are "temporary", temporary does not mean they expire automatically. "Temporary" only means until Judgment, or a subsequent Order, is entered.
In one of my cases, the parties were married for 3 short years. Divorce was filed in 1996, and a temporary order was obtained - H to pay W $1000/mo for child support and $2000/mo for spousal support.
After the temporary order was entered, both parties went their merry ways, and assumed their divorce was final.
WRONG.
It is now 2010. W has now filed a case with Department of Child Support Services, and alleges that NOTHING was paid for these past 14 years. There is now 1.5 million owing in back child support, and about 2.75 million owing in back spousal support.
What's wrong with this picture?
EVERYTHING!
Had this case gone to Judgment, there is NO WAY the Judge would have awarded 2.75 million in spousal support; rather, spousal support would likely not exceed the length of the marriage (3 years), so maximum H would have paid would be $72,000. NOT 2.75 million.
In addition, the parties are STILL legally married.
Moral of the story: Temporary orders are insufficient. GET YOUR CASE TO JUDGMENT.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

There's Life (and Divorce) after 40 Years of Marriage






Divorce, Women, and Age: Tipper Gore is Not Alone in Her Decision
By Kristen Houghton

At the end of my "couples" seminar the woman who had organized the workshops approached me. After telling me how much she had enjoyed all the workshops presented that day, she said:
"There's something that is never included in these workshops, though. No one ever discusses the divorce rate of couples over a certain age. Many women in long-standing marriages are getting divorced. I think you might have a good topic here for a future seminar Kristen. Think about it."
She went on to tell me that she was sixty-two and had recently filed for divorce herself. The marriage had lasted forty years. When I showed surprise at the fact that after that amount of time, she felt divorce was necessary she laughed and said, "It's happening more and more. Forty years goes by like nothing. People still have a lot of life to live and if the partnership isn't good for either of you, you owe it to yourself to do what's best for your life. People change and you shouldn't remain stagnant."

Her words piqued my curiosity. After doing some research I was astounded by what I found. In 2009 the divorce rate among Americans over fifty was triple what it had been in the early 1990's. Longevity of marriage was no longer a factor in staying together, nor was age. With both men and women working longer years, changing careers in mid-stream, and pursuing more personal goals, remaining in a marriage that wasn't working ceased to be an option. The odds for staying together dropped significantly especially after children from the marriage had left the family home.

In the 21st century, women are the ones most likely to file for divorce after long marriages of 30 to 40 plus years. Unlike their mothers and grandmothers before them who may well have been in financially dependent positions, they have forged strong careers, have financial success, and are unwilling to remain in unhappy or unfulfilling marriages. With a good 25 to 30 years of healthy active life ahead of them, they are taking a long, hard look at the person with whom they will be spending it. They refuse to spend quality time in a miserable or unfulfilling marriage.
Reaching a "certain age" doesn't mean what it did in the past for women. They are active, working, and vibrant, completely capable of taking care of themselves financially. Remaining in a "marriage of convenience" for security purposes is no longer the case.
Reasons for ending a marriage varied but, unlike younger couples, infidelity had almost nothing to do with the divorce rate among those married 30-plus years. The need for self-fulfillment and lack of connection to their spouses led to the decision to divorce. Friends and associates of Al and Tipper Gore say that their lives had gotten more and more separated and that is a key factor.
Separate lives, separate interests, more time spent apart than together.
But why wait 30 or 40 years before you decide that you no longer want to be married? I asked the woman who had first broached the topic of older divorce to me. She answered my question this way:

"We were involved in raising our children, creating careers, and basically, we functioned quite well because we were always busy. Later on we grew apart. He had no interest in my plans for the future and that was no longer tolerable to me. I've become a different person and want to explore new ventures; he doesn't. I want to enjoy the rest of my life and I will not be able to do so with him. It was time to leave. I want a happy life."