Earlier this year, People and Page Six magazine reported that Drake Bell and Janet Von Schmeling’s marriage has come to an end. The couple was married in 2018 after dating for around five years, and they have a young son.
The split was seemingly confirmed by Schmeling herself after she posted—then deleted—a post in late November 2022 claiming the couple had "separated." In December, she made another post on Instagram that hinted at the marital issues the couple was facing. The post read, “I’m HEALING and trying to find peace. This will be a process. My son is with me and will stay with me, We are in Florida with family and we are safe. We are finding our forever home here.”
This post came on the heels of the eyewitness incident where Bell was discovered huffing balloons in his car on two separate occasions. Both times, the couple’s son was in the backseat of the car. It is important to note that the photos do not prove whether a substance (if any) was inside the balloons.
What Happened to Drake Bell?
From comedic acting to pop music, Josh Bell is best known for having made a name for himself in the entertainment industry. He had memorable roles on Nickelodeon's The Amanda Show and Drake & Josh, and he was a voice actor in Disney XD's Ultimate Spider-Man series. In 2005 he released Telegraph, his debut album, which was distributed independently under his own label; he also used his vocal talents on Drake & Josh as he wrote and performed the theme song, "Found a Way."
In the years following, he guest-starred in a few films and TV shows. However, in the last few years, he has become more infamous than beloved by fans.
Drake Bell's private life has been a subject of public scrutiny since 2015 when he was apprehended for driving under the influence in California. While he plead not guilty to the charges, he was subsequently sentenced to four days of jail time.
In the summer of 2020, his former girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt drew further attention to Bell after she publicly accused him of verbal and physical abuse; though Bell admitted name-calling occurred between them at times, he steadfastly denied any claim that there were violent acts used against her as an assertion or threat by himself.
In June 2021, the musician was charged with two counts of attempted child endangerment for an alleged incident that had occurred in Cleveland four years prior. After initially pleading not guilty when accused of wrongdoing following a performance at the Ohio location, he eventually changed his plea to guilty. According to statements made by the prosecution, Bell endangered the minor by creating a risk of harm and had sent the victim inappropriate social media messages.
After pleading guilty, the actor was sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service. He was also prohibited from having contact with the victim and had to register as a sex offender.
Throughout this legal battle, Schmeling stuck by her husband. It was not until the drug abuse allegations and photos involving huffing balloons with their son in the car arose that she mentioned separation.
Substance Abuse & Divorce
Substance abuse can have a significant impact on divorce proceedings in Pennsylvania. The state is a fault-based divorce state, and marital misconduct such as adultery, abuse, and drug addiction are grounds for divorce. In addition to the legal implications of substance abuse in a marriage, it can also affect the outcome of a divorce in terms of property division, alimony, and child custody.
When it comes to property division, an addicted spouse may be found to have wasted marital assets due to their addiction. This could result in them receiving less than an equitable share of the marital estate.
Alimony may also be affected if an addicted spouse has harmed the other spouse's career or earning potential due to their substance abuse. Finally, when it comes to child custody decisions, Pennsylvania courts will take action if a parent's alcohol or drug abuse inhibits their ability to care for their children. For more details about how substance abuse affects child custody in Pennsylvania, you can read our blog, “Can Substance Abuse Impact Child Custody?”
Overall, substance abuse can have serious implications on divorce proceedings in Pennsylvania. It is important for those going through this difficult process to understand how it will affect them legally and emotionally so that they can make informed decisions about their future.
Affordable, Drama-Free Divorce Services
Cairns Law Offices offers low-cost, no-fault divorce services for couples in Pennsylvania. Using our DivorceWizard, you can file an uncontested, no-fault divorce for only $299.
We focus on providing top-notch services to couples seeking collaborative divorces, so unfortunately we may not be able to support you if a child custody dispute or property division dispute arises. Nevertheless, our team is well-versed in the law and can offer basic advice and help as part of your divorce journey.
To get started on your case, contact (888) 863-9115 or complete our online contact form today.