Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix AZ Family Law Blog

Monday, January 28, 2019

It Sunk the 40 Year Marriage of the Captain and Tennielle

Is Arizona a no-fault divorce state?

Phoenix divorce attorneys as well as many fans all over the country were surprised to learn that after 39 years of marriage, the Captain and Tennielle, called it quits. The former 1970s pop superstar duo’s first and best known-hit was Love Will Keep Us Together--so news of the wife, Toni Tennille filing for divorce in 2014 unleashed the expected jokes. At the time, the husband, Daryl Dragon—who was known and nicknamed for constantly wearing a captain’s hat--was reportedly suffering from a non-terminal seizure disorder similar to Parkinson’s and was surprised at the filing which alleged that the marriage was irretrievably broken.

In Arizona, which is a no-fault divorce state, the spouse who wants a divorce need only state that their marriage is “irretrievably broken with no reasonable prospect for reconciliation” in about 99% of all marriages. There are however more restrictive grounds in the 1% of marriages that are considered covenant marriages.

For a couple like the Captain and Tennielle, who never had children, dividing the marital property is generally the biggest issue to be worked out in a divorce. Sometimes, especially in cases of elderly divorcing couples where one partner may have sacrificed a career or education to raise children, and is not financially independent or able to support themselves after the divorce in the manner they were accustomed to living, alimony or spousal support may also be an issue.

In Arizona, which is a community property state, assets acquired during the couple’s marriage are subject to equitable division upon divorce. Generally, that means as close to a 50/50 split as possible. However, property owned by each spouse prior to the marriage, as well as certain property received by one spouse during the marriage (such as an inheritance or gift) remains the property of that spouse and is not subject to equitable distribution.

In interviews and her late in life memoir, “intimacy issues” were blamed by Tennielle for the unraveling of the marriage, but the couple remained close and she was reportedly caring for him and was at his side when he died in Arizona on January 2, 2019 of renal failure.

If you need assistance filing for divorce, have been served with divorce papers, or have any other family law questions, Cohen Family Law can help you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

We’ve been helping family since 1982 in all matters of family law throughout Phoenix and the surrounding areas.

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