5 Legal Lessons to Learn From Famous Hollywood Divorces

A Hollywood marriage is a phenomenon by itself. It is not easy to survive through a private institution like marriage when there is constant scrutiny and limelight on your relationship. We have seen some  rock-solid unions crumble down. Whether you empathize and grieve for your icon’s personal loss,or are simply hooked to celebrity lives to escape the monotony of your own, there are valuable lessons of life and divorce to be learned from the divorces of the rich and famous.

In this post we do a flashback of some famous split-ups, and the nuggets of legal wisdom we can take from each one of these.

Don’t Be Impulsive, Prepare for the Divorce

All of  us have a break-down point, and beyond that point, one just cannot take it anymore. However, one fine day you cannot just wake up and say you want a divorce. There is a method to the madness, a plan to the procedure, and you need to charter it out!

This is one lesson you could learn from the Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise divorce. Katie had planned out every little detail of the divorce. Before communicating her intention to divorce Cruise, she was very sure about what exactly she wanted from the divorce, and how to achieve it. She went about consulting attorneys right from the offset about how to proceed. Fortunately for her, the attorneys were in the family, and her intentions were not leaked  to the media.

Instead of rushing into the divorce, she actually took time to plan her divorce, and ensured the case would be more inclined towards her. After careful consideration, she chose New York as the place for filing divorce. She selected the jurisdiction where the divorce laws and treatment would be more in favor of her.

The verdict was proof of her intelligence and careful planning, and this is a lesson, you could benefit from too, if you are contemplating divorce.

Pay Attention to the Finances 

Divorce inevitably involves separation of assets. Alimony and custody are integral parts of any divorce. To make sure fair separation of assets take place, it is important to be involved in the family finances, and know what income and assets exist and how much of it rightfully belongs to you if ever a separation or divorce happens.

This knowledge makes the separation of assets easier and prevents any illegal concealment of properties in case a divorce happens. This thorough knowledge and involvement in finances is what made Heather Mills and Guy Ritchie receive the humungous amounts of $92 million and $48.6 million dollar in their  divorces from Sir Paul McCartney and Madonna respectively.

Custody Laws Are Complicated 

There is an overwhelming belief that custody is usually awarded to the mother. However the divorce of Gossip Girl actress Kelly Rutherford and her German husband Daniel Giersch proved otherwise. Though Kelly Rutherford was known to be a great mother, she could not retain custody rights of her two children. She took some erroneous steps that proved to be legally disastrous for her and led to her ultimately losing custody of the children.

Child custody laws are complicated and while going through a divorce, you must opt for professional help at every step to amicably resolve the custody battle. If only Rutherford had made some legally wise decisions, she wouldn’t be bankrupt, and probably would have custody of her children.

While this remains a personal and legal tragedy, the lesson need to be learned is, to be tactical and sharp during the custody proceedings rather than emotional and attached. Rutherford not mentioning her father’s name on her daughter’s birth certificate dealt the death blow to her case and she lost her children to her estranged husband. She took this step to prevent her husband from taking the kids away to another country, however it backfired miserably.

It is also an insight into the current legal system that stresses on equality and does not necessarily hand over child custody to the mothers.

Find Top Legal Representation 

If there is one legal lesson to be learned from practically all celebrity divorces, it is that, the right attorney can make all the difference. Holmes’ high profile attorney cost her a bomb, but practically proved to be worth every penny invested. Not only did the seasoned lawyers manage to reach a divorce settlement between the two parties in a mere 11 days, but also included all terms and conditions that Katy wanted. That’s what a good attorney does. On the other hand , Rutherford’s weak legal representation lost her a seemingly winning case, extended it for several years, and finally made her go bankrupt.

It is important to take a leaf out of this book and realize that the right attorney can make all the difference. Consult a few attorneys, pick one that is seasoned in divorce cases and has a successful track record. Often, we choose an attorney that seems monetarily more reasonable. However, it is better to invest in an expensive attorney and get desired results rather than in an incompetent attorney. The  case gets extended, there is ambivalence in the court proceedings, and ultimately desired results are not achieved. This process also proves to be more expensive in the long run. So always opt for the best legal representation. If you are filing for divorce in Chicago, opt for the best divorce lawyer in Chicago.

Child Support Is Applicable for Surrogate Children Too

The much publicized Sherri Shepherd and Lamar Sally divorce of 2014 throws light on another important issue in a marriage, child support for a surrogate child. The View host went through an ugly divorce and custody battle and ended up being the legal mother of, and paying for all expenses of her now 1 year old surrogate child with ex-husband, Lamar Sally.

While to pass judgments is not our prerogative, it does bring an important legal fact about child support to the surface.

To Conclude 

Whether it’s the celebrities or regular individuals like us, divorce rates don’t seem to be falling any time soon. Be clear about your goals from the onset and seek legal representation that will fight for you aggressively.