Amid Cheryl Burke’s ongoing divorce from ex-husband Matthew Lawrence, Us Weekly can confirm that she has demanded that the proceedings be referred to court.
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On Thursday, May 26, the lawyer of the 38-year-old professional from Dancing with the Stars filed a petition for a trial in a family law case. According to court documents obtained by us, both legal teams signed the request.
According to legal documents, the trial lasts approximately three days, and it cannot be assigned as a short case unless all parties agree to an estimated trial duration of 5 hours — one day — or less. The case will discuss the dissolution of the marriage, the maintenance of the spouse, the division of property, legal costs and other legal costs.
“Cheryl’s lawyer has filed a request for a trial because he is trying to push the other side to move and achieve a goal,” Goldie Shawn, a family lawyer from California, told us about what the new petition could mean for Burke and the 42—year-old actor’s divorce. “He is trying to push this through because it will probably take three months to hold a conference to set a trial on the calendar — this is a meeting to get the court to schedule a trial in six months. So they will get a request for a trial-setting meeting, probably in August or September, to go to the courthouse to sit in front of the judge and set another trial date. That’s not going to happen anytime soon. They are trying to appear before a judge to solve problems.”
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Sean noted that the California native’s lawyer is trying to “continue the case” by filing a request almost three months after the case began.
“Of course, it looks like she wants to speed up the process and wants it done. She wants to just leave it in the rearview mirror and she doesn’t want to deal with any of these issues and end the day like it never happened,” Sean suggested to Us. “Filing a lawsuit at such an early stage of the game tells me that she just wants to do it—faster than perhaps the family court will allow.”
Earlier in February, we confirmed that the dance moms graduates filed for divorce from Lawrence after three years of marriage.
“I know I’ve always said I’m an open book with you guys, I really strive to be one, and as I was writing this, I realized there’s really no easy way to announce that my marriage is ending,” Burke wrote via Instagram on February 24. “I hope you understand that I will not comment further at this time and ask for understanding and confidentiality. Thank you all for all the kind words and support you have given me.”
Burke, who married the Boy Meets World graduate in May 2019, has since been outspoken about moving on, even admitting that their breakup “100 percent” tested her sobriety.
“It’s not that I miss drinking. I’m not. I never liked the taste of it. It was just for effect,” the host of the “Burke in the Game” podcast told us earlier this month. “Of course I thought about it, especially [when] I’m home alone.”
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She continued, “I’ve been living in this house for 15 years and I’ve had a lot of memories, as you can imagine. This is a new, calm thing in my life. And there are times when I love it. [Then] there are times when I’m really aware of it, watching my thoughts and thinking: “Wow, the world is quiet.” I’ve definitely put a lot of new energy into trying to make this something like my zen.”
While the dancer apparently hopes to speed up their divorce process with her new move, the Brotherly Love actor has yet to reveal his response to her petition.
Matthew Lawrence and Cheryl Burke. Scott Kirkland/PictureGroup/MEGA
“So far, I see some cooperation [from Matthew],” Sean noted. “I don’t see its disclosure yet; this is a court requirement. He hasn’t done it yet. Not exactly outrageous, since this is still a new case.”
She added: “It’s premature. It’s just someone trying to [press] the fast forward button, faster than it’s most likely allowed by the court. You have to give both sides the opportunity to be heard — you can’t try to speed this up. Everyone has the right to due process of law. … They will probably set a date in 2-3 months, but by that point, I think the case will have moved a little further, and I don’t think this case will ever go to court. As indicated, this is not a three-day trial. There’s not enough meat in it.”
With a report from Diana Cooper