It's a sad day when any marriage ends, but the news that Sara Kapfer has filed for divorce from actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is particularly troubling. The couple, who were high school sweethearts, have been married for 20 years, which is an eternity by Hollywood's standards.
Gooding Jr., 46, perhaps best known for his Oscar winning role in Jerry Maguire, has upcoming appearances in Carry Me Home and Gridlocked. However, the couple have been together since before Gooding Jr.'s break out role in Boyz n the Hood (1991).
According to US Magazine, the parties have three children, Spencer, 19, Mason, 17 and Piper, 8. Although Gooding Jr. has always spoken positively about his marriage and family, last year while on The View, he admitted that he was struggling to make family time while performing in The Trip to Bountiful on Broadway. Gooding Jr. commented,
“When you do films, you're away from the family, but I can still fly them in or fly home to see them, so… my wife and I… have this rule - never go more than three or four weeks without seeing each other… But I knew this commitment meant that I would be in New York City for a long time; I'm here possible through September, so it's a bit of a pull on that to keep the household together. But she allowed me to be indulgent for obvious reasons… this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The Daily Mail reports that Kapfer is seeking joint legal (decision making) and physical custody of the parties' children. She is further claiming that child support will be determined at a later time.
While the custodial arrangements will have some impact on Gooding Jr.'s support obligation, the actor is likely looking at a fairly hefty support obligation. Gooding Jr. will be obligated to pay child support for his two minor children, and likely also his adult child, provided he is enrolled in post-secondary education or remains dependent on his parents.
However, Gooding Jr. is also looking at considerable spousal support. In Ontario, where parties have a 20 year traditional marriage, the support recipient is entitled to indefinite support pursuant to the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines (SSAG). That being said, the support recipient does have some obligation to attempt to become self-sufficient. And while Kapfer's experience is unclear, she is still relatively young and seemingly able to work.
All in all, we hope that the parties can resolve their matter amicably. Thus far, Gooding Jr. has not released a statement.