From Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s surprising divorce to Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s “conscious uncoupling,” it is well known the rich and famous have high divorce rates. One thing all the players still seem to have in common though? A desire to keep their dirty laundry to themselves. Below are the three reasons private mediation rather than a public day in court can be the right answer for many celebrities.
1. Mediation is quicker and less expensive than full blown litigation.
LA power lawyers are pricey, charging their celeb clients upwards of $750.00 per hour. Even stars with net worths in the hundreds of millions of dollars don’t want to throw out money. So while celebs generally have lawyers throughout mediation, the process is much, much quicker than traditional litigation thanks to less stringent rules regarding documentation, evidence and testimony. This quicker process means that not only do parties save money but they reduce the pain and stress on the family. This is especially when children are involved. Though as of this writing, they are still technically together, it is well known that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck turned to mediation in order to keep their children’s best interests as top priority when the couple opted for mediation when working out visitation, custody and other matters related to their three children. And, something additional to think about? Maybe the quicker, less contentious atmosphere of mediation, has helped this couple stay together, or at least put their divorce on hold despite announcing their intention to do so more than a year ago.
2. Mediation is private.
Divorce is messy for everyone but with celebrities these matters often involve salacious tales of drugs, cheating, bad judgment, and, not to mention, revelations of financial details. So, it is no surprise that celebrities, perhaps more than average Joes and Janes want to keep these matters private. With the paparazzi on a constant hunt for a juicy story, celebrity couples going through a divorce can harness some sense of security by knowing that mediation is confidential and that by staying out of court their family’s private life remains just that–private. Though other factors were at play, it is thanks to the confidentiality of mediation that the details of Tom Cruise’s three divorces are nowhere to be found. Without that, imagine the details and drama about Mimi, Nicole and Katie’s lives that would be out there in the public domain.
3. Mediation offers a distinct path to settlement.
The goal of mediation is to settle. Trace and Rhonda Atkins divorce is a great example of how mediation can coax a settlement. Their divorce, stemming from Trace’s years of boozing and womanizing began intensely with Rhonda demanding a settlement worth nearly $20 million. But instead of engaging in an aggressive, drawn out legal battle, she soon sought dismissal of the case, and the couple proceeded with mediation. A private compromise was reached and family was spared the trauma of having the world knowing exactly what was going on behind doors at the Atkins’ house.