Autumn Reeser: Separation & Divorce

TMZ has reported that Autumn Reeser, an actress who starred in Entourage, has just filed for divorce. Autumn and her husband, Jesse Warren Strutzel, were married in May 2009 and separated in October 2014. There are two children of the marriage, namely Finneus Warren, born May 10, 2011 and Dashiell Warren, born November 25, 2013. TMZ has further reported that Autumn wishes to have joint custody with Jesse of their two children.

In Ontario, "joint custody" means that both former spouses have legal authority to make decisions for children in relation to health, education and welfare. Further, courts in Ontario rarely ever order joint custody in situations where former spouses cannot cooperate with one another. In this case, there is nothing to suggest that Autumn and Jesse cannot cooperate with one another, and, as such, if the parties were before a Court in Ontario, joint custody would likely be Ordered by the Court.

While the legal term "custody" in Ontario refers to the legal authority to make decisions for the children, physical custody is much different. Separate arrangements for physical care of children may be negotiated or ordered. Thus, even though one parent has custody and the other access, it is possible for both parents to share equal amounts of time in providing physical and emotional care for the children.

In recent years, many parents have been encouraged to agree to detailed "parenting plans" that set out specific arrangements for their children, including where the children will sleep on a weekly basis, how the children will spend holidays, and which parent is entitled to make particular decisions for the child. These parenting plans provide former spouses with a firm framework of the arrangements dealing with the "post-separation family unit".

As such, although Autumn wishes to have joint custody of the children, it is likely that she may enter into a parenting plan with Jesse that sets out the specific arrangements for their two young children.

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