After 13 years of marriage, Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four and Liar actor) filed for divorce from Alice Evans (102 Dalmatians and 10 Things I Hate About You actress) in early 2021. Evans claims to have been blindsided by the news of the divorce despite Gruffudd having left the couple’s shared home two months prior, and he alleges that he told Evans that he was unhappy in August 2020. The couple is the parents of two daughters, Ella and Elsie, who are both under the age of 13.
Later that year, Evans accused Gruffudd of having an affair (for three years). She tweeted that her “husband, after two years of telling me I’m a bad person and I’m not exciting and he long longer wants to have sex with me and he just wants to be on set abroad… has been in a relationship for three years behind all our backs. Good luck, Bianca.”
“Bianca” is Bianca Wallace who is a 30-year-old actress and producer. Wallace has worked as an extra on Gruffudd’s show Harrow, which is where the two met. While the affair has not been confirmed, Gruffudd is currently dating the young actress, and he even posted a picture of them smiling with the caption: “Thank you for making me smile again @iambiancawallace.” Gruffudd made this post announcing their relationship in October 2021.
In February 2022, Gruffudd filed a petition asking the courts for a domestic violence restraining order against Evans. The petition requests that Evans be required to remain at least 100 yards away from him and his girlfriend, Wallace and not to contact either party as well.
Gruffudd claims that Evans threatened him between August 2020 (when he expressed his unhappiness) and January 2021 (when he left her) to make false accusations and destroy his career. According to People Magazine, in the petition, he writes that “Alice told me verbally multiple times that she would do to me what Amber Heard did to Johnny Depp.” He claims that Evans said that she would:
- Make abuse allegations
- Call the police
- Tell people that Gruffudd is an addict
- Have Gruffudd put in prison
- Have a diary published (with false information included)
- Destroy his mother
Throughout their separation and divorce, Evans has remained vocal on social media, and Gruffudd claims that her social media posts are false and harassing and a part of her plan to ruin him. Gruffudd also claims that Evans has sent hundreds and hundreds of texts, voice messages, and videos that are “harassing, abusive, and threatening communications,” and she allegedly refuses to stop sending messages despite Gruffudd no longer taking her messages or calls.
Nearly a year after the initial petition was filed, Evans filed a response. She asserts that she did not receive a copy of the restraining order and claims to have never threatened, assaulted, or harassed Gruffudd or Wallace in any way. Evans is also of the opinion that Gruffudd filed the restraining order to gain leverage in their case. In her response, Evans has asked that:
- She has primary physical and legal custody of their children.
- She is paid spousal support.
- Her attorney’s fees are covered by Gruffudd.
- The court makes a determination concerning the division or distribution of their shared L.A. home and other community assets.
Effects of Infidelity on Divorce
In Pennsylvania, adultery (or infidelity) is considered a fault-based ground for divorce. Marital conduct can also have an impact on determinations made regarding alimony, the division of property, and child custody. For instance, if the spouse uses marital funds or assets to fund the affair, that is considered a wasteful dissipation of assets, and courts may compensate the “innocent” spouse via spousal support or the property division award for the loss of those assets.
Infidelity rarely impacts child custody but can have bearing on the decision. For instance, the adulterer’s parenting skills or the child’s safety may be called into question if the parent had the affair while watching the child or if there is another concern over the child’s care.
It is important to note that allegations concerning adultery or other fault-based grounds for divorce must be proven. Evidence can include (but is not limited to):
- Written or verbal testimonies
- Text messages
- Social media posts or messages
- Phone records
- Receipts (of travel, hotel dates, gifts, etc.)
Dating Before Your Divorce Is Finalized
Many divorcees wonder when they can start dating again and if there are legal consequences of dating before the divorce is finalized. While you can date during your divorce, there are potential consequences, including:
- Complicating your relationship with your soon-to-be-ex or children.
- Bringing into question your martial conduct.
- Bringing into question your partner’s background (especially if your partner has been or will be around your children).
- Bringing about paternity issues or disputes.
- Prolonging the timeline of the divorce.
Effects of Domestic Violence & Abuse on Divorce
As evidenced by Gruffudd and Evans, you can petition the court for a restraining order against an abusive partner. In Pennsylvania, you can file a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA), Protection from Intimidation Order (PFI), or Sexual Violence Protection Order (SVPO) after reporting a crime or within 3 days of the abuse. A PFA order, after being issued by a judge, can protect you from your abuser for up to three years.
In divorce cases, if either party has a PFA against the other party, that can affect who gets custody of your shared children as well as determinations concerning child support, alimony, and the division of assets and debts. If your soon-to-be-ex is abusive, you should tell your attorney as they can better advise you of your options and help you fight for your freedom.
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