Football great, Jerry Rice and his wife of 20 years, Jacqueline, are divorcing. In June 2007, Jacqueline filed for divorce in San Mateo county, California. She is represented by Lindy Barocchi, and Jerry is represented by Stephen Montavlo. Both attorneys are certified family law specialists, which means they have extensive experience practicing family law in the San Francisco Bay Area.*
According to media reports, Jerry had extramarital affairs throughout the marriage – and in 2002, he was involved in a paternity suit filed in Arizona. But since California is a no fault divorce state, however, whether or not Jerry had extramarital affairs will have no impact on the court’s rulings in his divorce from Jacqueline.
It has been published that Jerry and Jacqueline had no premarital agreement (pre-nup). This is likely accurate, given the fact that the two married twenty years ago – when premarital agreements were not nearly as prevalant as they are today. If there is no pre-nup, the ruling will probably be straight forward: Jacqueline will be entitled to half of the marital estate. Since the size of Rice marital estate is significant (the parties are selling the family residence in Atherton, California, for example, which is reportedly listed at $22 million), Jacqueline will likely not be awarderd spousal support (alimony). Chances are the courts will find that she will have sufficient income from the assets she is awarded to meet her needs, which effectively eliminates her eligibility for alimony.
* Legal Specialization in the area of family law (also called certification) is a designation that, in states where it is offered, denotes an attorney’s practice’s emphasis on the area of family law. Interestingly, even celebrities who can afford most any lawyer sometimes choose to be represented by lawyers who are not necessarily certified family law specialists, but who are instead most experienced handling celebrity cases.