Josh Duhamel and Fergie Officially Divorce

Two years after they announced their separation, a California judge dissolved the marriage between the actor and Black Eyed Peas singer.

According to court documents, the two agreed to divide legal and physical custody of Axl, their 6-year-old son. Also, in a rather unusual move, neither party will pay alimony or child support as both of them are “fully self-supporting.”

In case you are wondering, Fergie will go back to her maiden name, which is Stacy Ann Ferguson.

“When a divorce involves a young child, co-parenting arrangements usually take center stage,” observed San Francisco family law attorney Terry A. Szucsko, a Certified Family Law Specialists “Parenting is not easy and co-parenting is even harder, so we try to make it as easy as possible.” California’s family laws have usually been ahead of the curve, he added. The Golden State was the first jurisdiction to pass a no-fault divorce law and also the first one to pass a joint custody law. 

Co-parenting takes things an extra step. Under the former joint custody law, one parent, usually the mother, was the managing conservator. The other parent, usually the father, had visitation rights. Now, both parents are expected, and encouraged, to assume an active child-rearing role. 

So, divorced parents must do more than tolerate each other. Each parent must encourage the child to have a relationship with the other parent. Failure to do so could be grounds for redesignation. The residential parent (managing conservator) could become the nonresidential parent (possessory conservator) and vice versa.

Parenting time division is another area.

In some situations, the traditional every other weekend and every other holiday arrangement is in the best interests of the child. But in many cases, compliance with California’s co-parenting requirement requires a different arrangement, such as:

  • Nesting: The parents switch houses and the child always remains in the same place. This arrangement is very stable for the child, but obviously only works if the parents are on good terms.
  • Block Scheduling: This division is very kid-friendly as well. Children spend a week or two with Parent A, a week or two with Parent B, and the cycle repeats. Aside from some accommodations for major holidays, this schedule remains in effect twelve months a year.
  • Extended Weekend: In many areas of life, small changes make a big difference. Starting weekends on Thursday and ending them on Monday makes the parenting time division much closer to 50-50.

California’s new laws also make it easier to modify a parenting plan, especially if the modification is agreed. Contact Lvovich & Szucsko, P.C. today to discuss your case.