Friday, July 17, 2009

Chip Pickering: Leisha's "At Fault"

Sid Salter has published Chip Pickering's statement in response to the alientation of affection lawsuit filed by wife, Leisha Pickering, against Elizabeth Creekmore Byrd:

"My marriage to Leisha is irreparably damaged. For the sake of our boys, I have done my best to resolve our differences amicably, fairly and privately, but without success, as Leisha refused to cooperate in any form or manner and is now on her third attorney. In June, I filed for divorce on a fault basis; previously, I had filed on the basis of irreconcilable differences because I thought that was in the best interest of our boys. Leisha’s Complaint is a reaction to my filing on fault grounds. I still believe it is in the best interest of our five (5) boys if our differences are resolved privately and before the appropriate court and not in the media. For that reason, I will not comment further."

The hook in that statement is meant to be "In June, I filed for divorce on a fault basis," leaving the impression that Mrs. Pickering has her own skeltons in the closet. It opens, however, the following interesting questions:

1. If Mr. Pickering "previously . . . filed [for divorce] on the basis of irreconcilable differences," why did he change the filing to one alleging fault?

It used to be the case that all the details of the divorce judgment had to be settled before an irreconcilable differences divorce could be granted. In those days, if the parties could not reach agreement, one or both would be required to switch to a fault ground in order to get the court to decide the unresolved issues. Mr. Pickering's statement reflects this idea: "I have done my best to resolve our differences amiably . . . but without success."

But Miss. Code Ann. Section 93-5-2(3) has been amended to provide that "If the parties are unable to agree upon adequate and sufficient provisions for the custody and maintenance of any children of that marriage or any property rights between them, they may consent to a divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences and permit the court to decide the issues upon which they cannot agree."

So these days, the only reason for switching from a "no-fault" to a "fault" divorce is to get leverage on the other spouse.

2. I find it interesting that Mr. Pickering, rather than Ms. Byrd, has responded to the filing of a complaint against Ms. Byrd.

3. I also find it interesting that unlike Gov. Sanford, Mr. Pickering is making no statement of remorse or even equivocation regarding the scandal.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pickering is no longer an elected official -- he owes no apology to the public. In fact, the fact that he no longer holds office has me wondering what relevance these have to anyone not immediately involved. I'm unsure how this relates to "law, life and after" enough to warrant any postings --let alone 6.

Anonymous said...

Let me say that I'm making no value judgments on this matter. Having said that...

I disagree with your analysis that "the only reason for switching from a 'no-fault' to a 'fault' divorce is to get leverage on the other spouse."

The statute states that "[The parties] may consent to a divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences and permit the court to decide the issues upon which they cannot agree. . . ."

If one spouse will not consent to an ID divorce, then the other spouse may have no option but to switch to a "fault" divorce in order to proceed. And if I recall correctly, C. Pickering was the one that filed the initial divorce action. If he has fault grounds, this may be the only way that he can proceed.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 5:23...it was relevant enough for you to read, right? And comment?

Justin said...

It happened WHILE he was in office. That's why it's relevant.

Justin said...

Why do I keep posting twice? Strange.

Anonymous said...

Sure Chip Pickering has done his best to resolve the differences amiably but without success and sure he is worried and wants the best for his five children. Sure he does yet he has had a mistress for seven years who followed his family on vacation and took these children's Father from them. He can make statement after statement, but if he thinks people believe a word he says, he's just an idiot.

Kingfish said...

no. Just whupped. completely.

Anonymous said...

Whupped, Nah, These two have hooked up as if they were Bonnie and Clyde, and Clyde is in ladies clothing. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 11:45 pm, "Sure he does yet he has had a mistress for seven years who . . . took these children's Father from them. . . ."

He is no less their father now than he was on the days the children were born. Making a mistake, regardless of degree or ilk, does not change that fact. IMO, it is Mrs. Pickering who is doing more harm to the children by making a media spectacle out of her family.

Anonymous said...

Actually Mrs. Pickering is doing her sons a favor. When they get older, old enough to understand, they'll realize that adultery and marital dishonesty comes with serious consequences. They'll learn that treating women poorly is wrong and will applaud their mother for taking her stand.

Anonymous said...

10:30am. You can spin it anyway you like, but the facts are Chip Pickering left his five young sons and their Mother to be with his long time mistress, Beth Byrd. Sure he's still their Father, but don't for a minute think his boys don't know he has lived a life of lies and decent for most of their lives. It's a sad, sad situation. Mrs. Pickering is only doing what she has to do.

Jim Craig said...

Anon & Anon & Anon:

I feel compelled to say that spouses with children, even five children, sometimes do find themselves desperately unhappy and needing to divorce. I think sometimes remaining in the marriage is as harmful -- and sometimes more so -- as staying together. I don't claim to know what the Pickerings need to do.

Anonymous said...

Jim Craig, I can't believe my own eyes. I was one of seven, always ate togather, leaned on one another and my fathers name for mother was ,HON. Blame it on the air we breath, not on large families. Children are not stupid, and most blame themselves for their parents divorce. If the mother had had a lover for seven years, the court, you and I would be calling her an unfit Mother. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Chipper was too focused on his zipper.

Jim Craig said...

Anon@3:17: No, I would not say that about a woman in similar circumstances. In fact, I have represented women accused of adulterous actions, and have argued that the custody determination should be considered separate and apart from that behavior.

I didn't mean to imply that having a large family caused marital strife. My point was that spouses in small families and large, with no children, few children, or many children, find themselves at the end of their ability to stay in the marriage. At that point something has to be done to address the situation. I would argue that -- assuming the allegations of a seven year affair are true -- Mr. Pickering should have separated from his wife seven years ago, or possibly longer.

Jim Giles said...

"Pickering is no longer an elected official -- he owes no apology to the public. In fact, the fact that he no longer holds office has me wondering what relevance these have to anyone not immediately involved. I'm unsure how this relates to "law, life and after" enough to warrant any postings --let alone 6."

Spoken like the dishonorable POS Chip Pickering is; Pickering's alleged conduct predates his current private nonpublic status.

Anonymous said...

Leisha...stand strong and clean her clock. She (Byrd) already looks road hard and put up wet---don't stop till you break her!!!!! Then see who Chip wants--he chose you over her in college because you were strong and confident---he is seeing now what he is up against!!!! YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!

ifastudent said...

Thank you Jim,for these wise comments.Im my 30s I found myself in an affair with a teenage relative of my wife living in our house.
There is so much to say but I dont know how to articulate it yet.My conclusion is that my wife and I should never have gottten married in the first place.
I have tried to get a divorce for some years now without success. She insists that she wants to remain in the marriage but uses my being away abroad studying as an opportunity to live as a single mother while enjoying the social and economic security of a married woman.It has been a waking nightmare.