If you file for divorce in a California court, you can expect to encounter several challenges if you and your soon-to-be ex don’t see eye-to-eye on certain issues. Money is often a big bone of contention, especially when there are high assets at stake. It’s always best if you and your former partner in life can discuss problem issues ahead of time, so as to avoid a nasty, perhaps lengthy court battle.

Actors such as John Schneider understand what it’s like to be in a legal battle while you’re trying to get on with your life after divorce. While you may want to start afresh, leave the past behind and maybe even enter a relationship with someone new, you might want to make sure all the loose ends are tied regarding divorce proceedings before you make any major life changes.

Things can get pretty complicated otherwise

Like most people in California and elsewhere, you might strongly believe that every person deserves the pursuit of happiness in life. In fact, that’s often why people get married in the first place, isn’t it? This can cause problems, however, if the pursuit of happiness intersects with a not-so-happy situation, such as divorce proceedings.

That’s what happened in Schneider’s case

Schneider appears to be involved in several personal situations that are keeping him from achieving his ultimate goals, which reportedly include legally marrying a woman he’s been dating for four years. He hasn’t been able to do so because he is still legally married to another woman, with whom he shares three adult-aged children.

The court ordered Schneider to pay the mother of his three children $18,000 per month in alimony. This was back in 2014 when she filed for dissolution of the marriage. The only trouble is that Schneider didn’t make good on the payments. Last year, he did time behind bars for owing $150,000 in alimony.

A non-legal marriage

Schneider recently hosted a private ceremony in his barn so that friends could join him as he exchanged personal vows with his girlfriend. He can’t legally marry her because the court has not yet finalized his divorce.

When you have adult children, situations like this may become a lot more complicated than if your kids had been quite young when problems arose. In Schneider’s case, all three of his children have stopped talking to him. He himself says that he feels like his career and life are just starting, and he will worry about the legal aspects of his new “marriage” later. For now, he just wants to enjoy being happy with the woman he loves.

Take-away notes

If you’re currently preparing for a divorce that will likely include alimony, it can be helpful to remember several things. First, if the court issues an order in divorce, whether for alimony, child support or custody, both parties must strictly adhere to its terms. If you have to pay alimony or child support, you must continue to make payments even if you’re hit with financial crisis.

You can petition the court for modification of the court order but, unless and until the judge grants it, you are still legally obligated to make payments on time. Also, it might be easier to move on in life if you make sure to resolve all legal issues from your current marital situation first. Many people turn to experienced family law attorneys to help them overcome obstacles pertaining to finances, custody, property division or other issues.