When you think of famous couples breaking up, it’s easy to picture lengthy and painful divorces for all of us to witness. Many celebrities have unwillingly ended up on the front page of the tabloids at the grocery store register because of the way they handled their separation. Remember Paul McCartney and Heather Mills? A perfect example of how bad things can become when a divorce lasts for so long and turns into an emotional battle. Even though the cost of a divorce isn’t much of a concern for highly paid celebrities, famous couples are opting more and more often for an out-of-court resolution, including divorce mediation, to protect themselves and their families. Mediation offers them several advantages over a divorce in a public court:
1. Solving Conflict Quickly and in a Positive Light:
The longer a separation takes, the more sour things tend to turn. Since mediation is hands-on and allows both partners to be equally in charge of the divorce process, it has a more positive outcome than litigation using separate attorneys. When announcing their separation, many celebrities now indicate they’re planning to handle the situation in a positive way. It has becomes more rare to see celebrities leaking out private information or falsely accusing their ex-spouses to publicly embarrass them, while spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on attorney fees over several years.
2. Avoiding Negative Publicity:
The celebrity press thrives on drama and scandal (don’t we all want to see that celebrities can suffer like the rest of us?) so the faster a divorce can happen, the less opportunities for the press to share with the public. Negative divorce proceedings can have a huge impact on a famous person’s popularity and image, something that celebrity spent years building. For example, Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards didn’t use mediation, unfortunately for them and their children. Their bitter divorce consisted of almost daily accounts of them washing their dirty laundry in public (Sheen was doing most of the laundry in this case). After seeing such public embarrassment and humiliation, most celebrities don’t want to go through the same ordeal.
3. Preserving Privacy:
The traditional divorce process involves public disclosures in front of a judge, with personal and family information becoming part of the public record. Many celebrities aren’t too keen on having this very private and sensitive information about their families divulged, so divorce mediation enables them to keep their business private. Tom Cruise decided to use mediation for all of his three divorces, keeping details of the couple’s married life, the couple’s children and the details of their settlement and child custody arrangements private. All parties involved were permanently sworn to secrecy.
Of course, many celebrities avoid lengthy divorce procedures simply by signing a pre-nuptial agreement. Even though these agreements can be contested in court, they usually limit the amount of conflict that can result from the couple’s separation.
We can all learn these valuable lessons from celebrities and realize that divorce mediation has many advantages over litigation. Divorces can easily get out of control, especially if they last a long time. Mediation focuses on cooperation and mutual benefit, while the spouses keep control of the situation the whole time. In the end, both partners, as well as their children, benefit from peaceful negotiations, financially and emotionally.