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Chris Pratt and Anna Faris file divorce, claim mutual respect

Celebrity divorces in California are always interesting, at least for those who admit to being inveterate star-gazers. Usually, there are at least one or two general principles of family law to be gleaned from a celebrity divorce. Recently, the most reported breakup is that of Chris Pratt and Anna Faris.

Pratt is the star of "Guardians of the Galaxy" and Faris headlines "Mom," a weekly network sitcom. The couple, who have been married for eight years, announced their divorce filing on Dec. 1. Pratt filed the divorce documents in which he alleged irreconcilable differences. He requested joint child custody of the couple's 5-year-old son.

Faris filed an answer to the divorce papers in which she also requested joint custody. She requested child support payments. With respect to property assets, it is reported that the parties have a prenuptial agreement but its details have not been revealed. They are reportedly negotiating a property settlement agreement.

The ground of irreconcilable differences is intended to denote no fault by either of the parties in the breakup of the marriage. The couple embraced that principle by issuing a joint statement affirming their respect for each other and the importance of providing mutual love for their son. The key word in the ground listed is 'irreconcilable,' indicating that further attempts to staying together would be fruitless.

In the modern age of no-fault divorces, this is a much-used ground in many states. Allegations of fault between the parties are virtually irrelevant in most divorces. The emphasis is on resolving the financial issues and fair property division according to law, without dwelling on the issues that may be bitterly festering between the couple.

The concept of fault in divorce proceedings may still have influence in the determination of spousal support, or alimony, in California and other states. However, the length of the marriage, the respective needs of the parties, the history of the contributions made by each and similar types of practical considerations are generally more important than fault.  Furthermore, modern concepts of alimony make it a limited remedy, which is theoretically supposed to be wound down when the supported party becomes self-sufficient.

Source: wbal.com, "Chris Pratt files for divorce from Anna Faris", Dec. 4, 2017

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