The Love Boat Actress Jill Whelan Files for Divorce


Many Pasadena family law attorneys who had fond memories of watching The Love Boat during the late 1970s and early 1980s were surprised to hear that Jill Whelan, who played Captain Stubing's daughter Vicki on the hit ABC TV show, is now forty seven years old and has filed for divorce from her husband Michael Chaykowsky. The couple has been married for fifteen years. They met sixteen years before that while working at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Whelan and Chaykowsky have an eight-year-old son together. Whelan is asking for full legal and physical custody of the boy. Full physical custody is what the average person thinks of as sole custody. This means that the child lives with the custodial parent full time and has visitation with the other parent. Full legal custody means that the custodial parent has the sole authority to make important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, such as those regarding religious training, education, and medical care.

Physical and legal custody are decided separately, so it is possible for one parent to have full physical custody and for the parents to share legal custody. If the parents share physical custody of the child, however, they will likely share legal custody as well.

Most courts today believe that joint physical and legal custody is in the child’s best interests, but this varies on a case by case basis. If one parent is considered to be unfit or sharing physical custody is not practical because of distance or scheduling issues, sole physical custody could be considered to be in the child’s best interests.

In addition to legal and physical custody of their son, Whelan is also requesting spousal support.

How Can We Help?

If you're a parent with questions about a child custody related issue, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our Pasadena family law attorneys can advocate for the interests of both you and your child within the state’s family court system.