Jay Cutler is a 37-year-old retired American football quarterback. He played for the National Football League for 12 years. He played for the Chicago Bears, the Denver Broncos, and the Miami Dolphins. He was also a sportscaster for Fox Television.
Kristin Cavallari is a 33-year-old television personality/actress and fashion designer. She became popular on the MTV show Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, and was later given her own television reality series Very Cavallari.
Cutler and Cavallari began dating in the fall of 2010, and became engaged in April of 2011, but they called off their engagement just three months later. By November, they were back together as a couple. They married in Nashville, Tennessee in 2013. They had their first son in 2012, their second son in 2014, and their daughter in 2015.
The couple separated and began divorce proceedings in their home state of Tennessee in April of 2020.
The divorce has been a contentious one, according to news organizations and court filings.
According to TMZ, in her original petition for divorce Kristin cited “inappropriate misconduct and irreconcilable differences” as her grounds for divorce and wants custody of the children. In his court filing, Jay believes he should have full custody of their three children, because he has been their primary care giver. In her responsive court filing, Kristin said that she had been the children’s primary caregiver, not Jay, and that she should have custody.
Most recently, the two argued in court filings about whether Jay should give Kristin money to buy a house. They currently remain in the family home with their children, but live separate lives. Kristin wanted to buy a house so she could move out. She argued that Jay would not give her money as a way to punish her for the divorce. In Jay’s response, he argued that the couple currently owned numerous properties that she could live in, and that buying another property would be "…a completely frivolous and unnecessary expense."
In California, “grounds for divorce” are not needed to dissolve a marriage. California is a no-fault state where in Tennessee, there must be grounds for divorce (according to TMZ) – a showing of misconduct by the other spouse.
Also in California, unless it would not be in the best interests of the children, parents are granted joint legal and physical custody of their children.
Lastly, in California, both parties are entitled to equal access of the community property. They would both have access to all – that includes money in bank accounts. However, whatever the money was used to pay for would remain community property, even if placed in spouse’s name only.
Although temporary orders could be made to prevent one party from improperly accessing community property, it would not be until the final dissolution and settlement decree that the property would be divided equally.