Journalist Megan Johnson of the Boston Herald reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger filed an amended divorce petition on or about July 25, 2011 under which places the issue of his Wife's spousal support before the California divorce court. Previously, his petition stated that Maria Shriver should be denied any right to spousal support. There can be no question that this was a significant change as every news reporting agency picked up this story. As a San Diego Certified Family Law Specialist attorney I want to raise the question of why Arnold Schwarzenegger changed his pleadings.
With a La Jolla divorce office, we handle spousal support issues in ordinary cases as well as high income cases. As to why Arnold Schwarzenegger would change his petition lets first consider whether he initially committed a mistake in the typing of his divorce petition. Divorce litigants, especially self represented litigants, commonly make mistakes in their divorce pleadings. My office took over a case last week from a self represented litigant (formerly known as a "pro per" litigant) and found a significant mistake on the petition that would have resulted in a significant waiver of legal rights. However, it is unlikely that Arnold Schwarzenegger's high priced and highly specialized divorce attorney made a mistake.
So next we turn to the reason of strategy (or, political correctness) as the explanation. Do you remember just a few weeks ago when Arnold Schwarzenegger's Wife, Maria Shriver, was found walking on the Santa Monica beach by the paparazzi? And similarly, when Sandra Bullock was found by the paparazzi walking alone in the mountains? Walking alone in an area of great natural beauty signifies humility and one reflecting on his/her life and the eternal lessons to be learned in going forward. It shows great inner strength and morality; even a spiritual side to the person. The opposite of this would be a celebrity who surrounds oneself in gaudy selfish displays such as riding in a chauffeured limousine to a ridiculously expensive bar or night club while in the midst of a divorce. These cases do get publicity as seen by the video below.