Some people claim their former spouses spent too much time watching Hollywood stars on TV and not enough time paying attention to their own families. However, when it comes to divorce, California spouses may learn a thing or two about successfully navigating the family justice system by following the divorce and child custody situations of the rich and famous. As one of many on the West Coast who live a rather simple lifestyle, you may wonder what the family problems of celebrities have to do with your own situation.
If you analyze similar cases of those who trod this path before you, you may be able to prevent contentious disputes or add to your favor in a divorce settlement. We all know that celebrities’ Hollywood persona are often quite different from who they are in their everyday personal lives; when their family law situations become public information, others can glean helpful tips from their experiences.
Important facts from various celebrity divorces
No two marriages are exactly the same. There are myriad reasons for divorce, from those involving a particular damaging incident, such as infidelity, to those where former spouses say they simply grew apart over time. Regardless what lands a couple in divorce court, the following issues evident in many celebrity divorces may be crucial toward achieving a fair and agreeable settlement:
- Be aware of your assets: Some spouses make the grave mistake of relying solely on their counterparts to take care of all financial matters. This can prove disastrous, however, if someone files for divorce and a spouse is completely unaware of his or her own assets. Shelly Sterling, who used to be married to former Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, successfully sued her then husband’s mistress to regain millions of dollars worth of marital property.
- Child custody is up for grabs: Gone are the days when the court automatically awards physical custody of children to mothers. Many celebrity fathers are currently engaged in contentious battles seeking physical and legal custody of their children. Kelly Rutherford lost custody of her kids when a judge ruled she was purposefully keeping them from their father.
- Gag orders are legally enforceable: It’s generally a very bad idea to go against the terms of a settlement contract, especially concerning confidentiality orders. The mother of Mel Gibson’s infant daughter had to pay back half of a $750,000 settlement for talking about Gibson on the Howard Stern show when prohibited to do so.
- Bad-talking a former spouse can be expensive: NFL superstar Deion Sander’s former wife had to pay more than $2 million when the court ruled in favor of the football legend in a character defamation lawsuit.
You may not have millions of dollars of assets at stake, nor might you spend the majority of your daily life in California in front of television cameras, but keeping these celebrity experiences in mind may help you prevent lengthy courtroom battles in your own divorce. If children are involved, you are likely focused on their best interests. The problem is, you and your former spouse might disagree in your interpretation of such matters.
For this and many other reasons, most celebrities align themselves with highly experienced family law attorneys before proceeding to divorce court. An attorney will work hard to protect your assets, your parental rights and to make sure your children’s well-being remains a central focus in divorce proceedings.