Dina Eastwood has filed for divorce. The papers were filed Tuesday in Monterey County, California, by the soon-to-be ex-wife of Clint Eastwood, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Eastwoods have been married since 1996, and after almost two decades of being together, Dina, 48, had filed for a legal separation in September. That was around the same time that Clint, 83, was photographed with a new girlfriend.
But Dina's legal separation filing was quickly withdrawn, and now divorce papers have been filed. What does this all mean for the couple's future?
Divorce v. Legal Separation
As mentioned, Dina initially filed for a legal separation, but withdrew that filing two days later, the Times reports. So why is Dina Eastwood now pursuing a divorce instead?
The answer isn't clear, but like many Americans facing a similar decision, Dina likely considered many factors when choosing between a legal separation or a divorce.
For example, in a legal separation, the couple still remains legally married, meaning that they'll likely still be filing joint taxes; one spouse can even remain covered under the other spouse's health insurance.
To finalize a legal separation, the court can issue orders regarding certain matters such as child support, property division, and child custody, among others. And while separated couples would live apart, they would not be able to remarry.
By contrast, divorce officially severs the marriage, meaning that each respective ex-spouse would be considered "single" for tax and insurance purposes. Getting married to a new partner would also be a viable option.
What's Next for the Eastwoods?
In Dina's divorce filing, she is requesting alimony, attorney fees, and physical custody of 16-year-old Morgan, her only child with Clint, according to the Times.
Seeing as how Dina was a bit quick to change her mind about the legal separation, what if she does so again regarding her divorce? This is of course possible. But consider that Dina has already spent a fair amount of money on her court filings: Each petition for separation or divorce comes with a $435 filing fee, according to the Monterey County Superior Court.
- Dina Eastwood Files for Divorce from Clint Eastwood (People)
- Legal Separation Before Divorce (FindLaw)
- Celebrity Divorce Lawyer Offers Lessons From Hollywood Break-ups (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Clint Eastwood Sues Furniture Company for Using His Name (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)