Michael Fishman is 37-year-old American actor best known for playing D.J. Connor during the 1980s television sitcom Roseanne as a child. He played the same character as an adult when the show was revised in 2018, first as Roseanne, and then in its spin-off The Connors.
In September of 1999, at the age of 18, he married Jennifer Briner. The couple has two children together, including a sixteen-year-old daughter.
In December of 2018, Briner filed for a legal separation in California court. On April 22, 2019, Fishman filed for dissolution of marriage.
In California, a legal separation means that the parties are still married, but now any asset and/or debt they acquire belongs only to themselves, not to each other as part of the marital community. Because they are still married, neither can marry someone else, and if they wish to permanently end their marriage, they must file for a dissolution of marriage.
Keep in mind that every marriage ending in dissolution (also known as divorce), must wait for a minimum of six months for their divorce to be finalized. When a legal separation petition is filed, the date on that form can be substituted in when the parties file for dissolution, thus shortening the six-month waiting period for a divorce.
It also should be noted that the Fishman-Briner marriage, in California, is considered to be a long-term marriage. A long-term marriage exists when the couple has been married for ten years or more. Their marriage lasted over 19 years.
A long-term marriage does not automatically provide spousal support, nor does a short-term marriage prevent spousal support. Usually, in a short-term marriage, if spousal support is awarded, it is granted for one-half the length of the marriage. But it doesn’t have to be. The judge will grant spousal support based on need and ability to pay and during the support period, the judge has the authority to make changes when necessary. At the end of the term of support, the court will no longer have control of the support issue.
In a long-term marriage, unless the parties agree otherwise, the court will maintain control of the spousal support issue until one party dies or the spouse awarded support remarries. However, just because the marriage lasted longer than ten years, does not automatically provide spousal support to one of the parties. An award of spousal support is based on need and ability of the other party to pay.
Since California is a no-fault divorce state, the reason for the termination of their marriage is irreconcilable differences. In California, irreconcilable differences can be anything that the two spouses cannot agree on. It can even mean that one spouse wants a divorce and the other doesn’t. That would be an irreconcilable difference. Usually, however, most marriages breakdown because of major disagreements that counseling or other help cannot fix.