Music fans across California were likely surprised to hear that legendary entertainer Stevie Wonder recently filed for divorce. However, the couple has reportedly been separated since 2009, and has been living separate lives. Wonder recently made the separation permanent and legal, though, when he cited irreconcilable differences in his divorce filing.
The couple has been married for 11 years and they have two children together. So far, the split seems to be amicable and generally fair. In terms of child support and custody, Wonder requested that he and his soon-to-be ex share joint custody. In addition, he also agreed to pay child support payments.
For any other couple in California, this type of arrangement is preferable. California courts generally prefer that parents both play active and physical roles in a child's life. For those who disagree with this option, it may present some legal obstacles that would require the help of an experienced attorney.
In addition to the child support and custody arrangements, Wonder and his wife will need to figure out how to divide their assets. Because they filed in a California, which is a community property state, all the assets earned during their 11-year marriage would technically be split equally between them.
However, because the two had been living separately since 2009, it is possible that the assets and funds acquired in the past three years would not be split up. When it comes to separations that result in a divorce, it must be determined whether the couple intended to reconcile or not. If a separation is an attempt to repair a marriage, and spouses hope to get back together, the assets earned during that time would likely still be considered shared assets.
When a long-term marriage comes to an end, it can be difficult for many reasons. There are likely children involved, and years of shared wealth and assets to divide. Untangling all these issues to come to a mutually beneficial divorce agreement can be difficult, but it is certainly possible with strong legal support.
Source: Reuters, "Stevie Wonder's Divorce Papers Filed, Seeks Joint Custody," Deanne Katz, Aug. 3, 2012