Colorado readers may have heard that Stevie Wonder recently filed for divorce from his fashion designer wife. The couple has been separated since 2009. Wonder filed the papers in Los Angeles Superior Court under his legal name, Stevland Morris.
The 62-year-old composer and performer has reportedly asked for joint custody of the couple’s two sons, ages ten and seven. News reports also indicate Wonder has said in his papers he will pay child support as well as spousal maintenance.
Like any divorcing couple, Wonder and Morris will face a number of difficult issues in their high-asset divorce. Those issues will likely be the same ones any couple with children face when a marriage comes to an end: property division, child custody, child support and spousal maintenance.
There is no word on whether Wonder’s spouse will contest his request for joint custody, but often child custody is a difficult issue in divorces. In determining custody, Colorado courts apply a number of factors including the parents’ wishes, the child’s wishes if they are mature enough to express an independent preference, the child’s adjustment to one or the other parent’s home and community and the physical and mental health of the parties. Courts also consider each parent’s ability to encourage a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent. The ultimate deciding factor is always the best interest of the child.
Child support in Colorado is based on presumptive guidelines that take each parent’s gross monthly income into account. Spousal support is determined by looking at the financial needs of the spouse seeking support as well as the length of time it will take that spouse to acquire the necessary education and training to obtain employment and become more financially independent.
A couple facing divorce has a challenging road ahead. An experienced divorce lawyer can guide the client through the legal and financial complexities and make the transition to a new phase in life as pain-free as possible for both parents and children.
Source: Detroit Free Press, “Stevie Wonder files for divorce,” Aug. 4, 2012