“Married to Medicine’s” Jill Theresa Connors is wishing she’d been “Married to Magistrate” now that she’s caught up in a legal spectacle. All About The Tea is bringing you exclusive scoop by investigating the legal documents filed.
There’s blood in the water in Georgia. Jill Connors filed divorce papers on August 19, 2015 asking for primary custody of her three boys as well as spousal support from her husband, Dr. John Philip Connors. The woman who joined “Married to Medicine” as a full-time cast member this season claims Dr. Connors withdrew $250k from their joint account leaving her without two pennies to rub together.
Jill claims in her motion for a temporary hearing to address urgent issues (dated August 24, 2015) that she has no income; Dr. Connors is solely in control over all marital assets; and she does not have any separate property that she can use to support herself or her children. Jill seeks temporary and permanent joint legal and primary physical custody of the children.
In what way did Dr. and Mrs. Connors’ picturesque life take a detour? Dr. Connors “recently discovered his wife was having an affair” based on text messages he’d discovered between her and an unidentified male, according to the police report. On August 13, the plastic surgeon stated that he and Jill started arguing about the infidelity in the kitchen, and he told Jill that she could not cheat on him, and that he would take the children if he needed to, according to the report. The threat made Jill’s blood boil.
Jill allegedly struck Dr. Connors in the face with closed hand punches. Dr. Connors indicated Jill then started to tear his T-shirt, and she scratched him all over his neck and upper body with her fingernails. Dr. Connors said he had no choice but to call 911, which triggered Jill to grab a knife or sharp object and cut herself on the arm and chest. Next she apparently yelled, “He’s cutting me.”
Jill admitted to police at the scene that she hit her spouse, fearful her Harvard-trained, double board-certified plastic surgeon husband would take the children from her.
The 38-year-old was arrested on August 13 at her home in Alpharetta, Georgia. Jill evidently stabbed herself as two of the couple’s three children witnessed the violence. There were no injuries to the children.
Dr. Connors, 46, has a restraining order against his wife whom he married on May 19, 2002. He was awarded temporary custody of the couple’s three minor children. A motion hearing is set for September 4 before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Todd Markle.
Jill is facing charges of battery and cruelty to children, says George Gordon, a spokesman for the Alpharetta Police. “Evidence on scene clearly indicated that she was the primary aggressor,” he says.
A criminal action is pending regarding the altercation in the Magistrate Court of Fulton County, State of Georgia v. Jill Connors. The Magistrate Court entered an Order that allows Jill to have visitation and phone contact with her three boys. Dr. Connors filed a family violence action regarding the exchange in Superior Court of Fulton County, John Connors v. Jill Connors.
On August 24, 2015, Jill filed a motion so that as soon as reasonably possible, the court could determine issues relating to the temporary custody of the couple’s three boys, Jameson P. Connors, Aidan P. Connors, and Carson B. Connors. That same hearing will also decide issues of temporary support for the minor children and Jill; use of the marital residence; and temporary attorney’s fees. In her August 19, 2015 Complaint For Divorce And Other Relief, Mrs. Connors said she should be awarded “permanent exclusive use, possession and control in and to the marital residence.” Jill requests “temporary joint legal and primary custody of the minor children.”
Jill was employed as the office manager at Dr. Connors’ medical practice, however she states in court documents “As a result of the pending action before the Magistrate Court, she is presently unable to work with the Respondent.” The Bravo personality says she is currently residing with friends, as she does not have an income or sufficient credit history to rent an apartment.
Jill professes that she is “dependent upon Respondent for support and should be awarded reasonable, temporary and permanent alimony from Respondent for her support and maintenance.” She also requests a lump-sum alimony and/or alimony in kind.
However, Dr. Connors claims in his Complaint For Divorce that Jill is a lawyer and qualified to earn her own money. In legal documents filed on August 19, 2015, Dr. Connors asserts “Defendant is an attorney and fully capable of supporting herself.” Jill (nee Sorrentino) Connors’ LinkedIn page shows she was educated at Dartmouth College and received her J.D. from top-ranking University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Dr. Connors’ professional website explains Jill is President of Business Development. “After working as a litigation attorney at a prominent Boston law firm, Jill joined the Plastic Surgery Group of Atlanta where she manages practice operations and the marketing department.” Jill’s education and employment background doesn’t give much credence to her claim that she cannot support herself or find meaningful employment.
In Georgia, alimony is not a right. Instead, it is based on need, ability to pay, length of the marriage, standard of living established during the marriage, number of children, respective income, and conduct of the parties. Based on Jill’s ability to find work and her recent violent/criminal behaviors, the court will unlikely grant her an impressive temporary support, permanent alimony, or lump-sum alimony award.
The other nail in Jill’s spousal support coffin is the fact that Georgia courts do consider whether one spouse’s behavior led to the breakdown of the marriage. Therefore, a spouse who otherwise might have received alimony but committed criminal, violent, or adulterous acts may be barred from receiving payments. Dr. Connors stated in his Complaint For Divorce that “Jill is guilty of adultery and Jill is guilty of cruel treatment.”
Dr. Connors sets forth that the following joint property should be equitably divided: checking accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, automobiles, a medical practice and miscellaneous furniture, furnishings and miscellaneous items of personalty, in addition to any debt. Jill says in her Complaint For Divorce And Other Relief, “During the course of the marriage, the parties have incurred various debts, which Respondent should be required to pay in full.”
In Georgia (and elsewhere, for that matter) the number one thing you can do to sabotage your custody claims is to abuse your spouse or children and/or allow children to witness such abuse. A parent who is a danger to the children will not get custody. Making physical contact with another person in a harmful or offensive manner is a crime. The judge will probably not grant her request – at this moment in time – for temporary and permanent joint legal and primary physical custody of Jameson, Aidan, and Carson.
The duty of a judge when determining child custody is to look at what is in the best interest of the children. In doing so, a judge may consider any relevant factors, including emotional ties existing between each parent and the children; the home environment of each parent considering the promotion of nurturance and safety of the children rather than material factors; the stability of the family unit of each of the parents; the mental and physical health of each parent; and each parent’s employment schedule and the related flexibility or limitations, if any, of a parent to care for the children.
The court will consider recommendations by a court appointed custody evaluator or guardian ad litem and any evidence of family violence; sexual, mental, or physical child abuse; or the criminal history of either parent. The weighing of the aforementioned factors bodes well for Dr. Connors.
Dr. Connors maintains that he is a fit and proper person to be awarded primary physical custody of the minor children. “The parties should be awarded joint legal custody of the minor children, with Plaintiff [Dr. Connors] having final decision-making authority regarding the children.” This shows that Dr. Connors believes Jill should be involved in choices as to the children’s schooling, religious upbringing, and medical care.
According to Jill, she was the “sole care provider” for the couple’s three sons during the marriage. She took the opportunity in court papers to throw her estranged spouse under the proverbial bus. “Respondent is a highly regarded plastic surgeon, who, while very successful in his career, played a limited parenting role during the marriage.” (Most jurisdictions place significant importance when determining custody issues on who has been the children’s primary caregiver during the marriage.)
Jill claims that despite the Order permitting her to have visitation and phone contact with the children, “Respondent [Dr. Connors] has denied Petitioner [Jill Connors] any and all contact with the minor children since August 13, 2015.” See, pg. 2 of Jill’s motion dated August 24, 2015. According to Jill, her estranged spouse has refused to arrange for the children to have telephone contact with her and he is “not providing any information regarding the children’s well-being, education or extracurricular activities.” Doubly egregious – at least in Jill’s eyes – is the so-called fact that Dr. Connors is “relying heavily upon a third-party caregiver to care for the minor children.” Will the court be swayed by Jill’s overtures when awarding custody?
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