Celebrity Weddings . . . Public or Private Divorce?

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries obviously do not shy away from the spotlight. The media has been welcomed to invade their lives, making them open books to millions of viewers. One wonders whether the dissolution of their short marriage will garnish as much attention as its planning did. Will the divorce go the way of the Paul McCartney/Heather Mills divorce, and be a two year, acrimonious, bitter battle with a very public litigious outcome, or will it go the way of the Robin Williams and Marsha Garces divorce, and be a quiet matter that has the best interests of the Williams children in mind?

I am sure that many celebrity TV shows hope for the Kardashian-Humphries breakup to be like the McCartney-Mills one, but when a couple is contemplating a divorce far from the spotlight, the Robin Williams method might be the way to go.

Robin Williams and his spouse of 19 years chose Collaborative Law to assist them in the dissolution of their marriage.  A article in People stated that Williams and Marsha Garces signed an agreement spelling out their goals, including promises to try to avoid courtroom clashes and to keep their children’s interests at the forefront.  “We will strive to be honest, cooperative and respectful as we work in this process to achieve the future well being of our families,” says the agreement the couple filed in San Francisco Superior Court. “We commit ourselves to the collaborative law process and agree to seek a positive way to resolve our differences justly and equitably.”

The collaborative process is an open and honest one, but it also affords confidentiality in the exchange of information.  Prior indiscretions, disagreements or spousal shortcomings will not be aired in public, so the negative impact on other family members, especially children, will be minimized if not eliminated.

Meetings are typically held in private offices where the parties have an opportunity to speak their mind and to listen to others involved in a much more private and comfortable setting. In the rare occasion where a couple is not able to resolve all their differences through the collaborative law process, discussions that have taken place in meetings remain confidential. Under the terms of the standard process agreement, they will not be disclosed in a subsequent process.

The collaborative process fosters the sharing of information while maintaining control of the process, and it is beneficial where continued relationships among the parties are valuable.  It can also lead to considerable cost savings over traditional litigation since trips to court are minimized.

The Collaborative Law process might not be the best option for Kris and Kim if they both do not agree to peaceful resolution, and it might not be the best if they want to retain the same level of notoriety they had while planning their lavish wedding, but for those who want more control and confidentiality while containing costs, collaboration may indeed be the right choice.

Martin Murphy, Esq. is a collaborative attorney and seasoned mediator. He is dedicated to using the principles and benefits of mediation and collaborative law in the general representation of businesses, their owners and in helping families facing divorce, child custody and other family law issues.  The Law Office of Martin Murphy, LLC located in Norwood MA, serves clients in the surrounding communities including, Walpole, Westwood, Dedham, Braintree, Plainville and Attleboro.  Marty can be reached at marty@martinmurphyatlaw.com




  1. Excellent article! It is clear that collaborative divorce offers an opportunity for the needs of all family members to be heard and incorporated into the process, privately. What better way to plan for healing and a good life, post divorce? Betsy Ross, LICSW

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