Here's a shocker: Courtney Stodden, 19, reality TV star and aspiring singer/actress, has separated from her husband of three years, actor Doug Hutchinson, 53, best known for his roles in "The Chocolate War" and "The Green Mile."
The couple married in 2011 amidst publicity and criticism over their vast age discrepancy and the fact that Stodden was only 16 at the time. Stodden, who dropped out of high-school because she was bullied as a result of her surgically enhanced looks, was initially introduced to Hutchinson over the internet when she signed up for an acting workshop taught by the actor. According to Hutchinson, he was unaware of Stodden's age for the first six months of their internet courtship, during which they fell in love.
The couple's relationship was publicized further when they agreed to appear on the VH1 show "Couples Therapy," where they attempted to resolve some of their issues, many of which stemmed from their 35-year age gap.
Unfortunately, the reality show therapy sessions could not save this couple's marriage. On November 1, 2013, Stodden and Hutchinson announced their separation after 2.5 years of marriage. According to Radar Online, it was Stodden who asked for a divorce; Hutchinson, who was disowned by his family for marrying his young wife, is apparently crushed over the split. The parties have announced, nevertheless, that Hutchinson will continue to act as Stodden's manager.
Then, on November 9th, the former couple announced that they had signed a "separation agreement" of sorts which confirmed that they would continue to live "separate and apart" but would continue to do so within their shared residence.
However, the document, which was drafted by their entertainment lawyers, Cervantes Entertainment Law, reads more like a press statement than an agreement. Neither party has initiated court proceedings.
In Ontario, both spouses have an equal right to possession of the matrimonial home, pursuant to s. 19 of the Family Law Act (FLA). Accordingly, a spouse who is not on title for the matrimonial homewill have the same right to remain in the home as the spouse who holds title. However, where only one spouse's name is on title, the other spouse's interest can only be exercised against the titled spouse, and such rights terminate with a divorce or annulment unless otherwise stated in a separation agreement or provided for by court order.
s. 24 of the FLA further authorizes the court to grant exclusive possession of the matrimonial home to one of the spouses. The criteria for making such an order include: the best interests of the children affected; any existing orders regarding property or support; the financial position of both parties; any written agreement between the parties; the availability of other suitable and affordable accommodation; and any violence committed by a spouse against the other spouse or the children.
Hopefully, Stodden and Hutchinson will be able to maintain the seemingly amicable relations they have maintained thus far. In the end, however, regardless of title, both may have a claim to possession of the matrimonial home.