Clint Eastwood has been a staple in movies for the past several decades. It is likely that most movie lovers here in New York have seen at least one movie that he starred in or directed. Recently, some family law-related news has come up regarding Eastwood and his wife.

The two got married in 1996. The couple has a 16-year-old daughter.

Recently, Eastwood’s wife filed a petition for a legal separation.

What is the difference between a legal separation and a divorce? The key difference between the two is that a divorce dissolves a couple’s marriage, while a legal separation does not.

Child custody issues can arise in both legal separations and divorces. One of the major child custody issues that can come up between a divorcing or separating couple is the issue of who gets physical custody of the couple’s child/children. Physical custody regards who a child will regularly live with.

In her petition for a legal separation, Eastwood’s wife made a request regarding the physical custody of the couple’s daughter. She has asked that she be given physical custody of the child.

Sometimes, a divorcing or separating couple will form an agreement establishing who will have physical custody of their child/children. Other times, the decision of what physical custody arrangement will be put in place in regards to the child/children of a divorcing or separating couple is put into the hands of a court. It will be interesting to see what ultimately happens in regards to the issue of physical custody in the legal separation of Eastwood and his wife.

Source: The Monterey County Herald, “Dina Eastwood files for legal separation from Clint Eastwood,” Sept. 10, 2013