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Eastwood divorce official: child custody, alimony on the table

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the legal separation between Clint Eastwood and his wife, Dina. The two had reached a point in their marriage where they needed some time apart, and clearly things were not working well. We wondered at the time what would happen with their marriage -- if they would try and work it out, or if they would take the next step and formally file for divorce.

Well, with a month gone by, Dina has made it clear: she filed for divorce from Clint Eastwood recently, and it is expected the couple will go through the divorce process in the coming weeks and months. The two have been married for more than 17 years.

In her request, Dina wanted two things: spousal support (sometimes called alimony) and physical custody of the 16-year-old daughter she had with Clint. So there are a couple of things to talk about with this divorce.

The first is the spousal support. Sometimes when a couple files for divorce, one of the spouse requests alimony. You need to make a strong case in order to justify such a request, and sometimes the judge will award you alimony -- but at a reduced level than what you requested. A common argument for spousal support is that the requesting spouse put their career on hold when they entered their marriage, meaning their future earnings will be affected as a result of the divorce.

The other aspect here is child custody, which is a very contentious issue. Usually the splitting spouses can agree to some form of joint custody. But, if they can't, a strenuous process begins where each parent needs to build a case that shows their capability as a parent -- and why they deserve certain custody provisions.

Source: CNN, "Clint Eastwood's wife files for divorce," Alan Duke, Oct. 25, 2013

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