As of October 5th the divorce between Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe is official. Reese filed for divorce (also called dissolution) from Ryan on November 8, 2006, so why did it take so long? The date a party files for dissolution (the date the “petition for dissolution” is filed) has no bearing on the date that the divorce becomes final. In California a divorce is finalized after a required 6 month waiting period from when the “final judgment” is entered. So we can assume that the final judgment was filed around April, 2007 – meaning there were about 6 months of negotiations between Reese and Ryan (i.e.: division of community assets, custody/visitation, and child support).
According to news reports, the parties who married when Reese was only 23 years old had no prenuptial agreement. Although Reese earns more than Ryan it has been reported that Ryan did not seek spousal support. In some cases where spousal support is not awarded the lower earning spouse may be awarded a larger portion of community assets.
Reports indicate that Reese has primary physical custody which means that she has the children, Ava and Deacon, the majority of the time. It has also been reported that Reese and Ryan share joint legal custody of the children which means that they will share in the decisions that affect the well being of the children such has, medical, dental and educational decisions.