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Stephen Collins' divorce trial starts in California court

When people hear about Hollywood divorces, they usually assume that what goes on behind the doors of the courtroom is something very ugly. The truth is that not every Hollywood divorce is that ugly. In fact, some are simply about money and once both sides decide on a plan that is mutually satisfying, the case can go forward and finish without any issues.

In the case of Stephen Collins, there is a lot of media attention surrounding the divorce because of a tape in which his estranged wife allegedly caught him saying he molested young girls. The couple has been married for a quarter of a century, so they have some considerable assets to work through. In California, that usually means an even split where each spouse gets half of the marital property and debt.

In Collins' case, the tape of his alleged confession will likely have no impact on the property division unless the ex-spouses opt to settle with each other out of court. During property division hearings and proceedings, the reasons for the divorce usually aren't covered. Instead, the court focuses on splitting up property. The Collins' divorce is a no-fault divorce, so the tape has no bearing in the courtroom.

The release of the tape has effectively shut down Collins' career. His loss of income could play a huge part in the divorce settlement in a few ways. He could offer a bigger settlement in exchange for a confidentiality agreement. It might mean that his estranged wife doesn't get the $13,000 per month in spousal support that she wants.

Every decision made by either spouse during a divorce, especially during a high-profile divorce, can impact the decisions of the court. Knowing what you should and shouldn't do during a divorce is vital to ensure that you don't negatively affect your side of the divorce.

Source: USA Today, "'Ugly' Stephen Collins divorce trial set to begin" Maria Puente, Nov. 11, 2014

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