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Mother of Miley Cyrus files for divorce from Billy Ray

The mother of pop singer Miley Cyrus has filed for divorce from her father, Billy Ray Cyrus.

Multi-platinum selling country singer Billy Ray, 51, is best known for his worldwide hit single Achy Breaky Heart. He marred Leticia ‘Tish’ Finley in December 1993 and the couple had three children together – Miley, now 20, Braison, 19, and Noah, 13. Billy Ray also adopted Brandi and Trace, his wife’s two children from her first marriage.

According to TMZ, Tish has cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ as the reason for the split after 19 years of marriage. She has asked for full custody of Noah, alimony, and payment of her legal fees.

Tish Cyrus told TMZ, “This is a personal matter and we are working to find a resolution that is in the best interest of our family.”

Miley Cyrus is best known for her role in teen comedy-drama Hannah Montana.

Billy Ray initially filed for divorce three years ago, saying Miley’s fame had affected the family, but later dropped the petition.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. JamesB says:

    How can you have irreconcileable differences with someone you have been married to for over nineteen years?

    Why can’t he / she just say, citing that he / she no longer wants to be married to him / her anymore?

    An honest petition would take make sense on a subject where emotions run high and arguments can take hold. For example when someone wants to divorce their husband or wife in this country to go off with someone whom they have been having an affair with, they have to cite their ‘unreasonable behaviour’.

    We now have divorce on demand, they should call it what it is. Lawyers (non-understandable) reasons mean they don’t. Another example is complatints to the Law Society, which must be in one of four categories even when they are not.

  2. Stephanie Bamberger says:


    In response to your question about irreconcilable differences, the Petition was filed in Los Angeles, California. California is a no-fault state & Irreconcilable Differences are the ONLY grounds on which a Petition for Dissolution can be filed. In case you’re wondering, I’m a family law attorney in Sacramento, California.


  3. JamesB says:

    Thanks for the answer Stephanie. I was sad to see this news as one of my daughters is a big Hannah Montana fan and I quite like Billy Ray also, oh well, I suppose they will be all right. I hope so; I expect there is enough money to go around.

    I do stand by what I said and think a better term should be found. Perhaps divorcing someone on the grounds that the marriage has come to an end is more honest. I think most most cases the marriages are reconcilable, at least in the short term so the terminology doesn’t make much sense.

  4. Stephanie Bamberger says:


    Yes, we could probably come up with a different term or phrase than irreconcilable differences, but since the California Legislature is populated pretty heavily with lawyers, I wouldn’t put money on that happening anytime soon. 🙂


    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Stephanie
      Thanks so much for your comments. Very much appreciated. If you ever come over here, let me know. I’d be delighted to show you round Legal London.
      Best wishes
      PS in return I want to go to Malibu…

  5. JamesB says:

    p.s. I live in Berkshire, UK. Regards.

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