LeAnn Rimes Announces Her Divorce

The rumors of Rimes' affair with actor Eddie Cibrian are well known to most, and LeAnn has officially announced that she and her husband Deane Sheremet are ending their seven year marriage. She announced on her website that:

After much thoughtful mutual consideration, Deane and I have agreed to move forward with dissolving our marriage. This decision was amicable and we remain committed and caring friends with great admiration for one another.

What would happen if this divorcing couple lived in Ontario?

Her Affair: Although adultery is a ground for divorce in Ontario, it is rarely used because it often takes too much time and effort (which means big lawyer bills) to prove the adulterous relationship to make it worth while. The ground for divorce usually used in this province is Separation, which basically means that the parties have been apart for a year or more and have no plans of getting back together. So, it is unlikely that this couple would choose adultery as a ground for their divorce. But then again, most couples in Ontario do not have photographs of their affairs in tabloids on newsstands the world over.

Division of Property: In Ontario, divorcing couples split their property through a process called Equalization. Basically this means that each party adds up everything they have acquired since their marriage and subtracts anything they owe, leaving a total for each spouse. The lower of these numbers is subtracted from the higher and the wealthier spouse pays half of the difference to the other spouse. Parties can contract out of Equalization with a properly worded and unequivocally clear Marriage Contract (which is the Ontario legal term for Pre-Nup) if they made one before they thought of separating. But, if the court considers the contract unreasonable, they don't have to enforce it. There have been no rumors about a Pre-Nup for this couple. So, it looks like LeAnn would have to write Deane a big cheque if this couple lived in Ontario because odds are pretty good that a backup dancer, who has recently returned to chef school, makes a lot less money than a country singer-songwriter as popular as LeAnn.

Spousal Support: Spousal Support is based on a number of factors, which basically boil down to the length of time that the parties have lived together, the tasks performed by the parties while they lived together, any Marriage Contract, and the economic position of the parties after their separation. The parties were together for 7 years, which, though long for a Hollywood relationship, is not likely to be considered a long-term marriage. It is unlikely that either party did a lot of housework while they were together because they both work and they could definitely afford a cleaning service. As for the economic position of the parties, he likely has a lot less money than she does, but he probably earned a decent paycheck as a back up dancer. Then again, he has recently decided to go back to school. Economic factors are considered to ensure the parties do not suffer any economic hardship as a result of their divorce and to promote self-sufficiency. So, it is possible that Rimes' will have to support Sheremet while he's studying to become a chef in New York or her equalization payment could be large enough that Deane would not be in need of spousal support.

Child Support: Since the announcement of her divorce, Rimes' has admitted her relationship with actor Eddie Cibrian. Cibrian has two children with his soon to be ex-wife and the more time LeAnn spends with his children, the more likely it is that she will have to support them if her and Cibrian ever call it quits. Why? Because in Ontario, if you stand in the place of a parent (which basically mean you treat your partners' children like a parent would) you can be considered a parent for child support purposes. This means that you may have to pay child support should your relationship with their parent end. Child support in Ontario is based on income and the number of children but the court does have discretion in cases dealing with step parent's support of children. So with LeAnn's income, it may be a large payment.

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