Just what exactly does Kristin Cavallari’s marital misconduct allegations against now-estranged husband Jay Cutler in her separation filing mean?
An expert told Us Weekly that the claims could be related to cheating, substance abuse, or mistreatment, among other things.
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According to the separation documents, Cavallari cited “inappropriate marital conduct as renders further cohabitation unsafe and improper” as one of the reasons for her split from Cutler. However, the reality star didn’t explain what that meant in her filing on Monday, April 27.
“’Inappropriate marital conduct’ can include adultery, drug or alcohol abuse, abandoning the marriage, or cruel and inhuman treatment, among other possibilities,” Neama Rahmani, President of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told Us Weekly.
Despite this, TMZ further explained that Tennessee is a “fault state” which means that when asking for a divorce, fault must be proven on the other spouse, which is most likely why Cavallari claimed Jay was guilty of “marital misconduct.”
“It’s actually boilerplate language in the state. The language is included in a divorce petition and counterclaim because Kristin and Jay can’t end the marriage without some showing of misconduct. As for what the misconduct is … that’s for the lawyers to handle,” TMZ added.
Rahmani explained that if Cavallari and Cutler don’t agree on a settlement before trial, “we will know what the allegations are” after the reality star’s attorneys gather and present evidence of “inappropriate marital conduct” to the judge.
Since the former couple live in Nashville, Tennessee – alongside their three children Camden, Jaxon, and Saylor – Cavallari is required to prove the reason for separation, because the state is a fault marital dissolution region.
“Though Jay filed first cited ‘irreconcilable differences,’ that only works when the [separation] is uncontested,” Rahmani said.
The lawyer explained that since Cavallari requested primary custody of her children, “her lawyers need to prove that Jay was responsible for the breakdown of the marriage.”
They added that if The Hills alum “proves Jay was at fault” then it will affect the outcome of both their custody settlement and how much money, if any, the reality star will receive from Cutler.
A source revealed to Us Weekly that the couple has both accused each other of being unfaithful over the years.
“The word around Nashville is they really just don’t like each other anymore,” the insider told the outlet. “They would accuse each other of cheating, but nothing really solid.”
Cavallari and Cutler announced their split on Instagram on Sunday, April 26, after seven years of marriage and 10 years together.
“We have nothing but love and respect for one another and are deeply grateful for the years shared, memories made, and the children we are so proud of,” the statement read at the time. “This is just the situation of two people growing apart.”