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Clint Eastwood headed for divorce

Colorado moviegoers are very familiar with Clint Eastwood. The 83-year-old actor has made a long career out of playing tough guys. It now appears he is headed for a divorce. His wife of 17 years, Dina Eastwood, 48, has filed legal separation papers with the Monterey County Superior Court in Monterey, California. The couple has apparently lived apart since last summer.

According to the papers, Mrs. Eastwood is requesting physical custody of the couple's 16-year-old daughter. She has proposed the couple have joint legal custody.

Generally, legal custody is similar to what Colorado courts call parenting responsibility. It means the authority to make important decisions about raising the child, including about health care, education, religious upbringing and other choices. Physical custody refers to which parent the child will live with most of the time; the other parent may have visitation rights. Colorado courts refer to visitation as parenting time. Based on the best interests of the child standard, the court decides how many overnights the child will spend with each parent.

The court papers indicate that asset division in the Eastwood's case will be based on a prenuptial agreement. Prenups are recognized and will generally be enforced in Colorado, as long as each party has made a full disclosure of their assets and property interests at the time they entered into the agreement. If there is evidence one party did not make a full disclosure, or used fraud or misrepresentations to induce the other to sign, a Colorado court can void the prenup. Assuming there are no such problems, in a high asset divorce like this a prenup can prevent a long and expensive dispute over the property settlement.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Clint Eastwood's wife, Dina, files for legal separation," Christie D'Zurilla, Sept. 11, 2013

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