Real Housewives of Orange County star Vicki Gunvalson’s relationship with her boyfriend of two years, Steve Lodge, has been a big storyline during this season, with Gunvalson pushing for an engagement ring. But, a new report claims that Lodge might not be the family man he’s portrayed of being on the Bravo reality show.
In divorce papers from the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside, Lodge’s first wife Karla – who he was married to for 19 years – accused her husband of leaving the family and moving in with a new girlfriend.
Citing irreconcilable differences, Steve filed for divorce in 2005 and requested joint custody of their two kids, Amanda and James. He also requested that Karla get spousal support. At the time Steve was working as a police detective for the City of Santa Ana and listed his monthly income as $6,801, plus $3,631 of monthly overtime pay.
The former couple shared physical custody of the kids after they separated, with Steve getting them Friday to Monday and Karla getting them Tuesday to Thursday. But, in his Order to Show Cause, Steve said he was paying too much support.
“I believe it is in the best interest of our children to remain on the 50/50 visitation schedule. Additionally, I have been paying voluntary support to respondent since our divorce. The support amount I have been paying is significantly above guideline and is forcing me to work many hours of overtime just to make ends meet,” Steve wrote.
He added that Karla was only willing to work part-time, and that exacerbated the financial strain on him. In her answer, Karla asked for primary custody of the kids, with Steve getting reasonable visitation. She also claimed that Steve had removed money from bank accounts and changed his beneficiary from her to his brother, and she asked the courts for the money to be returned and to make her beneficiary again.
Karla also claimed that their daughter Amanda had spent “99 percent of her time” with her, and Amanda said she didn’t want to spend a lot of time with her dad. She added that James had spent a minimal amount of time at Steve’s house, and 50/50 visitation was not in the best interest of the children because Steve was not an active parent.
Karla also revealed that Steve had been sharing his house with his girlfriend, and she didn’t think her kids needed to be with their dad more than every other weekend and once during the week. She also said that Steve had always worked a lot of hours, and he had made that choice for many years. And, as for her, she is “not unwilling to only work part-time,” and worked as much as her employer allowed.
According to Radar Online, the Lodge’s reached a Marital Settlement Agreement on April 20, 2008. The court reinstated Karla as beneficiary on two accounts, granted the former couple joint legal and physical custody of the kids, and ordered Steve Lodge to pay $1,536 a month in child support and $1,113 in spousal support.
Vicki Gunvalson has not commented on her BF’s dramatic former relationships.
New episodes of Real Housewives of Orange County air Monday nights on Bravo.