Celebrity Divorce

I received a news flash October 9, 2014, that movie star Paula Patton has taken the plunge (in a bad kind of way) and filed for divorce from her pop-star husband, Robin Thicke. Patton cited “irreconcilable differences,” the usual statutory reason, as the cause. The couple has been married for nine years and has a four-year-old son.

Did Patton not know about the collaborative divorce option? Has the couple already worked out the terms of their divorce in some other courtless negotiation or mediation process? It seems not. Although Patton is reportedly seeking joint custody for both herself and Thicke, that’s also just the standard demand when it comes to a petition for dissolution of marriage.

When the couple officially separated earlier in the year, they released a joint statement which read: “We will always love each other and be best friends; however, we have mutually decided to separate at this time.” Thicke has allegedly made several attempts to win his estranged wife back. But none has met with any success.

I’m thinking the publicists wrote that “joint release.” You would think with so much interest in the personal details of their private lives, people in their position (i.e. celebrities) would especially appreciate the privacy that collaborative divorce affords. Robin Williams did. T-Boone Pickens did. Roy Disney did. And with a four-year-old to protect, you would think they would investigate an option that shields their child from the tempest and resultant enmity that traditional courtroom divorce litigation engenders. Perhaps their lawyers didn’t clue them in? No surprise there; lawyers make more in the courtroom than they will ever make in the collaborative conference room.

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