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A recent post on this blog discussed the stresses public life can put on famous couples. California has no shortage of high profile marriages on its books but for some celebrities staying out of the limelight is easier than it is for others. For those the reasons behind their divorces may be more personal than public and therefore more aligned with why non-celebrities also choose to divorce.

Neil Young, a classic rock musician and vocalist, recently filed for divorce from his wife in an effort to end his 36-year-union. The divorce paperwork was filed in San Mateo and a court will hear the couple’s divorce matter at the end of the calendar year. At this time a reason for the divorce is not known.

After so many years of marriage and personal histories of wealth and fame, it is likely that Young and his wife will face a complex divorce. They are both musical performance artists who travel extensively for their careers. They share a child who has special needs due to suffering from cerebral palsy. Between child custody and support matters, complex asset division negotiations and emotional upheaval they will both have a lot to deal with as their December divorce hearing draws near.

The Youngs are not the only long-term high profile couple to end their marriage. Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper ended their decades- long relationship several years ago. Couples who stay together over many decades can experience the same problems as their younger counterparts. However, those in longer marriages often have lives that are more significantly intertwined than individuals in more recent marriages and therefore have more complex personal and financial matters to unravel.

As the year draws to a close the Youngs will find themselves as single people for the first time in nearly four decades. Transitioning out of marriage can be difficult for anyone but can be especially hard for those whose marriages spanned over half of their lifetimes. The complexities of ending a long-term marriage are many, but achieving a reasonable resolution is possible with proper preparation and understanding of California family law.

Source: CNN, “Neil Young files for divorce from wife of 36 years,” Aug. 27, 2014