Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (son of civil rights activist, politician and minister, Rev. Jesse Jackson) was married to his wife, Sandi, for 25 years. The 51-year-old filed for divorce, however, on a recent Monday in a court outside California. This is not the first occasion in recent times that this particular couple has been in the news.

Several years ago, Jackson was accused of misappropriating campaign funds in an official election. His wife was accused of filing false income tax returns. Both were criminally charged and subsequently convicted of felony crimes. They also both spent time behind bars in connection with the incidents. Jackson was apparently treated at some point for depression and bipolar disorder.

The former couple has two children together, one age 12, the other, 16. Jackson has reportedly submitted a request to the court for physical custody of his children. Gone are the days when the court automatically rules in favor of a mother in such situations. Time will tell whether Jackson’s quest is successful in court.

Divorce is seldom easy. When parties involved are both public figures in California or elsewhere, things can get rather complicated. It is difficult to achieve swift and amicable results to child custody or other related issues when lack of privacy and public opinion bear significant impact on the situation. Famous or not, it often helps to seek experienced guidance before proceeding to court to request custody of one’s children. The court will consider various factors, sometimes, including comments from the children themselves, in determining what is in their best interests and to whom physical custody should be granted.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. files for divorce from ex-Ald. Sandi Jackson“, Nereida Moreno, Dec. 13, 2016