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Sacramento Divorce Lawyer Discusses Divorce and Custody

Sacramento Divorce Lawyer Discusses Divorce and Custody

Can you still be a housewife if you aren’t married?

News reports today indicate that one of the “Real Housewives of New York City,” Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, and her husband, Count Alexandre de Lesseps have separated and are headed for divorce. The Count and Countess have two children, ages 14 and 12, and have been married for 16 years.

No details are available yet, but we can guess what the issues might be: property division, child support, child custody and visitation. Hard to say if spousal support will be an issue. The Countess is a former model, and the Count is… a Count.

As for the children, one is in boarding school, so there’s likely going to be an issue with educational expenses in addition to child support. In California, private school tuition is not a mandatory addition to child support unless the parties agree to it. However, in these circumstances, it seems quite likely the parents will wish to continue with the particular schools for their children.

It is also possible that special circumstances exist because the Countess is an American Indian, so her children are also Native Americans, and therefore fall under the Indian Child Welfare Act. The ICWA, as it is known, does not apply to custody litigation in a dissolution, but it requires special precautions in the event there is a possibility of custody being awarded to a non-parent. In this case, it seems unlikely, but its good to know.

One issue that seems certain to rear its head is adultery. The rumor mill says the reason for the divorce is the husband has been cavorting with a lovely Ethiopian woman in Switzerland. Most states have eliminated fault based divorce, so probably not going to be a relevant issue, but expect it to be discussed.

The marriage of the Count and Countess was a fairly long one, 16 years, and they probably have acquired substantial assets during those 16 years. Depending on the nature of all that property, its all going to need to be divided. California law requires that community property be divided between the parties, but each party retains whatever property is theirs as a result of gift, bequest or devise. Also, each party retains whatever was brought to the marriage. In the case of the Count and Countess, one or both of them may have separate property or income from separate property from prior to marriage.

Here at Sagaria Law, we offer a full range of family law and legal services including divorce, paternity, adoption, child custody and visitation matters, child support, spousal support, alimony, juvenile dependency, domestic violence, division of property, grandparent visitation and custody, etc. We have seven Northern California locations including San Jose, San Francisco, Redwood City, Fremont, Salinas, Roseville and Sacramento. We offer a free thirty minute consultation, either in person at any of our offices, or over the phone. Call our offices today and we can connect you with an attorney immediately or we can schedule your free consultation with one of our family law attorneys: (408) 279-2288 or (800) 941-6730 or visit

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