"The Bachelor" host Chris Harrison and his wife are divorcing, People Magazine reports.
Harrison, 40, and Gwen Jones announced they would be separating after 18 years together. The decision to part was "incredibly difficult," but they still have "love and mutual respect" for each other, the couple said in a joint statement. Harrison and Jones live in California with their two children, Joshua, 9, and Taylor, 7.
So far, everything seems amicable. That's good news for the couple since California is a community property state.
Community property means that all assets acquired during marriage are owned equally by both spouses. Following a divorce, everything is split down the middle. Only a minority of states adhere to this legal doctrine, including Texas, Washington, California and Idaho.
Most states are common law property states. This law allows each spouse to retain separate ownership to their respective property. Assets are shared only by choice.
While both systems can lead to acrimonious battles in a divorce, community property can be particularly painful. This is especially true if the separation is adversarial. Since everything is divided equally, it's common for one spouse to feel like they're being cheated.
Since Harrison and Jones also have children, child custody rights also come into play. They'll have to work out who'll retain primary custody, visitation schedules, and child support payments. It's all very messy business.
Hopefully "The Bachelor" host and his wife will work everything out in their divorce. Chris Harrison's job is to help couples hook up on television, so the ironic split is bound to raise some eyebrows at ABC.
- Chris Harrison Splits From Wife Gwen After 18 Years (Us Weekly)
- The FindLaw Guide to Getting a Divorce: Starting the Divorce Process (FindLaw)
- The Bachelor's Racial Discrimination Lawsuit: Minorities Were Kept Off (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Who Owns What in Marital Property? (FindLaw)