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Schwarzenegger changes approach to spousal support

Last week we spoke about how Arnold Schwarzenegger had declined his estranged wife Maria Shriver's request for spousal support. The former governor and film star has changed his mind though it is not completely clear why. In last week's legal documents, Schwarzenegger checked a box that indicated his disagreement in providing Maria Shriver with spousal support. This week it looks like Arnold did not check the box thereby indicating his inclination to spousal support.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has amended his divorce documents dated July 20. Originally, the divorce documents indicated his desire to terminate the divorce court's jurisdiction to award spousal support to Maria Shriver. New divorce documents filed on Monday show that Schwarzenegger removed the request and the same box regarding spousal support was left unchecked.

A California family law attorney who does not represent either parties but is familiar with the case said that Arnold's move last week was "standard practice." The attorney explained that checking the box last week was about preserving the right to end spousal support in the future. Explaining further, the family law attorney said checking the box gives the court the ability to end spousal support in the future if former spouse has the ability to support his or herself.

Arnold Schwarzenegger received a lot of negative criticism over the weekend over his choice to challenge spousal support. In addition, Arnold and Maria were addressing the health concerns of their youngest son who was substantially injured in a boogie board accident last week.

It is believed that Arnold may have changed the divorce documents because he did not intend to deprive Maria from spousal support and because of the public's reaction. It seems the court of public opinion is behind Maria again.

Source: People.com, "Arnold Schwarzenegger not fighting spousal support," Champ Clark, 7/25/11

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