From Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes to Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston, society today is obsessed with the fairy tale weddings, the seemingly exciting and passionate relationship, short lived, ending in a dramatic divorce. Sir Paul Coleridge, a leading High Court judge, argues it is now common for young people to take celebrity marriages as a model for their own, something he describes as “dangerously flawed”.
A report published by the Marriage Foundation interestingly revealed that after 10 years of marriage the divorce rate for celebrities is 40 per cent, double the national average.
Justice Coleridge insists that the celebrity experience and statistic is not something to be “admired and copied”. However, the reality is that marriage may end in divorce, for celebrity couples or otherwise, regardless of the intent behind the marriage. Divorce does not have to turn into epic, drawn-out battles over money and property, complete with bitter screaming matches and threats such as “I’ll take you to the cleaners!”
To avoid such bitterness, do not let emotion cloud the real issues. In divorce, mixing money and emotions is like trying to mix oil and water. Divorce is emotional, but it is also a business negotiation. Everyone wants their fair share, but money should not be used as a weapon. A vindictive attitude will hinder your case and increase the cost of your divorce. If your marriage must end, make your divorce a success and create the second chance you both need.
It is essential to get good professional divorce advice from divorce lawyers. When you are getting a divorce, you need all the help you can afford. To avoid paying more than you should or getting less than you deserve, choose carefully and select a professional with family law expertise to help advise you on the settlement and its consequences. If you and your spouse can still talk but cannot agree, think about using a mediator to help you work out some of the details. The divorce process takes time therefore do not be rushed. Be prepared to take as much time as necessary to plan your divorce as this is your opportunity for a new beginning.
You must focus on what is important. Children are often the biggest issue along with money. When it comes to divorce advice, ignorance is not bliss. To the contrary, ignorance is dangerous and costly. Remember that this is your divorce, not anyone else’s. Whilst you get divorce advice from your solicitor, the decisions are yours to make. You may not look on your marriage as a success, but that does not mean your divorce can’t and won’t be. Learn about your options so you can make smart decisions. Please see our family page.
By Emma Patel