Los Angeles, CA- Sara Kapfer, Cuba Gooding Jr.’s wife of 20 years filed for legal separation this week brining to close a relationship that began when they were both in high school.

In the divorce documents, obtained by TMZ, Kapfer cited irreconcilable differences and asked for joint custody of the couple’s three children Spencer, 19, Mason, 17, and Piper, 8. She is also seeking child support, the amount of which will be determined later.

Kapfer and the Academy Award winning actor were high school sweethearts who married in 1994

Last year, Gooding, 46, in an appearance on the View talked about how wonderful his wife is but noted that acting jobs keep him away from his family for long periods of time.

“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.”

Gooding won the Best Supporting Actor award for his portrayal of Arizona Cardinal’s wide receiver Rod Tidwell in Cameron Crowe’s 1996 film Jerry Maguire, and has had a rewarding film career since. Last year he took a role on Broadway in The Trip to Bountiful which took him away from his family for several months.

Gooding hasn’t publically responded about the separation.

It doesn’t appear that Kapfer and Gooding’s divorce will take a nasty turn like so many Hollywood marriages, but it’s early in the process.

Even when a divorce doesn’t become acrimonious, a couple can benefit from the representation of a divorce attorney especially if they have children together.

Child custody is an issue which can turn any seemingly agreeable divorce into a battle. Kapfer is asking for joint custody which means both parents will share physical custody of the children and make decisions about their upbringing together. The children will get to spend time with both parents and are able to come up with their own visitation schedule.

Even when a couple agrees on joint custody, there are a number of issues that can arise such as where and with which parent children will spend the holidays. This may seem like a small issue compared to the end of a marriage, but it can become a major sticking point down the road particularly if the couple cannot get along. A divorce attorney can work with a couple and help them draft a visitation schedule they can both agree on so they can keep their children out of the middle.

Child custody isn’t the only issue a divorcing couple must deal with money can make for a very contentious divorce. Couples need help with deciding who retains the family home, how the assets are divided and which spouse will receive financial support. A divorce attorney will make certain their client gets a final divorce settlement and child custody arrangement that best benefits the child or children.