Until today, there really wasn't much to glean from the Simpson parents' split. Tina and Joe Simpson, married since 1978, and proud parents of Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, were calling it quits in an amicable divorce. Though it was sad, there wasn't much law to be dealt with.
Of course, the rumors now swirling will change that a bit. The most prevalent rumor of the moment is that Pastor Joe Simpson was cheating on his wife with Bryce Chandler Hill, a 21-year-old male model, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The rumors include the tidbit that Simpson has been a regular in West Hollywood gay bars in recent times. Both Simpson and Hill have denied the rumors.
In Texas, adultery may affect property division and attorney's fees in certain cases. The extent of the effect will be up to the judge. According to TMZ, Joe is hoping that the court will award all assets to him (unlikely due to the length of the marriage). Should he continue with such unreasonable requests, it wouldn't be surprising to see the alleged infidelity aired out in the proceedings.
For the record, here in Illinois, a person's fidelity, or lack thereof, has no legal effect on the asset division, alimony, or other aspects of the divorce.
What adultery can (and frequently does) affect is the parties' willingness to settle issues in an objective and time-saving manner. Hurt feelings often escalate the divorce battle into pointless sparring over minor assets. Courts become a forum for airing grievances unrelated to the law.
Parties would be well-advised to either set aside those feelings, or to keep their extra-marital relationships quiet until after the divorce is finalized. Of course, that's easier said than done when you are a celeb or pseudo-celeb.
- Find a Chicago Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Illinois Divorce Law (FindLaw's Chicago Family Law Blog)
- Jessica Simpson's Parents Split: Star Is Coping With Divorce As Joe And Tina Shoot Down Affair Rumors (Huffington Post)
- Learning From Seal and Heidi: Tips For Dating While Divorcing (FindLaw's Chicago Family Law Blog)