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'The View' host in coast to coast divorce cases

It did not take long for the issues to become more complex after Lamar Sally filed for separation from Sherri Shepherd. She is a host on the national television show, “The View.” She and Mr. Sally married in August 2011. The couple does not have any children together, although they are expecting a boy this summer through a surrogate.

News reports indicate that each party has filed papers in family court to end the nearly three-year marriage. But, the papers are not confined to a single jurisdiction. Ms. Shepherd apparently responded to the West Coast family court dispute by filing her own papers on the East Coast seeking divorce.

Mr. Sally actually filed for what is known as legal separation. However, news reports indicate that he intends to convert the proceeding to a divorce case once he has lived on the West Coast long enough to qualify for a divorce under that state’s residency requirement.

In general, each state has its own residency requirement. The Texas Family Code says that the general rule requires that one spouse has been a domiciliary of Texas for at least six months and has been a resident in the county where the divorce is sought for at least 90 days.

In the recent celebrity divorce, child custody may be an issue for the family court. Mr. Sally is seeking full custody of the child, who is being carried by a surrogate. He is asking the court to grant Ms. Shepherd reasonable visitation rights, according to People Magazine. In the East Coast divorce papers, TMZ reports that Ms. Shepherd does not address child custody issues, so it is difficult to divine whether custody will be a battle.

What appears to be a major issue involves finances. Each estranged spouse mentions a prenuptial agreement. Mr. Sally claims in his papers that the prenup should be declared void due to fraud. Ms. Shepherd seeks to have the prenup enforced. TMZ reports that the agreement says that Mr. Sally is entitled to $60,000 if the marriage were to last from two to five years. Mr. Sally is asking to have the prenup thrown out.

The kinds of issues that can arise in family court can vary widely. With today’s blended families, adoptions and other issues related to parenting, the issues can be complex.

Source: People Magazine, “Sherri Shepherd's Husband Files for Separation, Seeks Custody of Their Unborn Child,” K.C. Blumm, May 9, 2014; TMZ, “Sherri Shepherd-You File for Divorce, I File for Divorce, May 12, 2014

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