Rocker John Mellencamp and his estranged wife, model Elaine Irwin Mellencamp, are officially divorced. John and Elaine were married for 18 years (long term marriage in California) and have two children, Hud, age 17 and Speck, age 16. The parties separated back on September 1, 2010. This is the third divorce for John. According to reports, the couple negotiated "an amicable settlement of all issues involving property and maintenance rights, the custody and support of their children, and all other issues," Further, the couple will share joint legal custody of the boys but Elaine was awarded primary physical custody. Additionally, John was ordered to pay child support and for their school. No other details about the divorce was made public. Luckily for these two, they were able to work out an amicable settlement agreement. Otherwise, if no settlement was reached, there would have been contentious litigation involving child support and property division. Interestingly enough, since the couple's marriage was long-term (18 years), there is no mention as to if Elaine was awarded spousal support or if John chose to buy her out. In California, the following are factors that the court evaluates when awarding permanent spousal support: In ordering spousal support under this part, the court shall consider all of the following circumstances: (a) The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage, taking into account all of the following: (1) The marketable skills of the supported party; the job market for those skills; the time and expenses required for the supported party to acquire the appropriate education or training to develop those skills; and the possible need for retraining or education to acquire other, more marketable skills or employment. (2) The extent to which the supported party's present or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment that were incurred during the marriage to permit the supported party to devote time to domestic duties. (b) The extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the supporting party. (c) The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support, taking into account the supporting party's earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living. (d) The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage. (e) The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party. (f) The duration of the marriage. (g) The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent children in the custody of the party. (h) The age and health of the parties. (i) Documented evidence of any history of domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, between the parties, including, but not limited to, consideration of emotional distress resulting from domestic violence perpetrated against the supported party by the supporting party, and consideration of any history of violence against the supporting party by the supported party. (j) The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party. (k) The balance of the hardships to each party. (l) The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. Except in the case of a marriage of long duration as described in Section 4336, a "reasonable period of time" for purposes of this section generally shall be one-half the length of the marriage. However, nothing in this section is intended to limit the court's discretion to order support for a greater or lesser length of time, based on any of the other factors listed in this section, Section 4336, and the circumstances of the parties. (m) The criminal conviction of an abusive spouse shall be considered in making a reduction or elimination of a spousal support award in accordance with Section 4325. (n) Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable. Contact an Orange County divorce lawyer for more information on seeking a divorce in Los Angeles or Orange County. Source: John Mellencamp officially divorced
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