Mr. and Mrs. Troy and Rhonda Aikman…Divorcing the Right Way

Divorcing, while keeping the children in mind

Two cases where Collaborative Divorce and Divorce Mediation worked:

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Troy Aikman recently announced that he and his wife of ten years had separated a few months ago. They have two children.

Amazingly, the press did not get a hold of this news when it happened, but when the Aikmans thought the time was right to announce the divorce. Their children didn’t hear about it on the news or from a friend on the playground. They heard about it from their parents, who likely did all they could to make them feel safe and secure during a change in their lives. Details of the property distribution, child support, alimony and parenting were worked out outside of the courtroom insuring the families privacy. If they had decided to battle this out in court it would have become fodder for the tabloids immediately. They brought the family through the divorce process peacefully and with dignity.

Eva Longoria and Tony Parker finalized their divorce in a Texas court on Friday, January 28, 2011. They made big celebrity news in November when they each filed a divorce complaint, she in California and he in Texas. Despite the existence of a pre-nuptial agreement Eva asked the court for an award of spousal support.

Likely she was acting on emotion, as she had come to find text messages that suggested he was having an affair with a teammate’s wife. She was hurt, angry, bitter and bent on hurting him in a public forum. I suspect she thought this would make her feel better but likely, the only thing it did, was make a very private wound of hers very public. This is where a divorce coach could have been helpful in working with her to deal with all of this emotion before acting. Eva did end up withdrawing her filing in California and agreed to handle the divorce according to the prenuptial agreement. It was all done within three months and it fell off of the front cover of People Magazine.

...and divorcing WITHOUT keeping the children in mind

Now, contradictorily, in the continuing saga of Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva, her current lawyers went to court last week and are asking for $1.2 million for work performed since September, 2010. Another law firm is requesting Gibson pay them $250,000. He has already been ordered to pay his wife’s firm $500,000. A third attorney wants $163,000 for one month’s work. Most people look at this and think this only happens in cases with celebrities. Not so, there are many divorce cases here in Bucks County where legal fees approach or top one million dollars.

If you talk to anyone who has been through a traditional divorce they will tell you about the legal fees, no doubt. A Collaborative divorce is typically about one-third of the cost of a traditional divorce. The client’s money is spent on the professionals that can best help them. A child specialist can be used for parenting schedules or to assess how the kids are handling the divorce. A divorce coach can help them deal with the range of emotions that come with a divorce and the attorneys can do what they do best, navigate the legal process. Too often in divorce, clients go to the attorneys with all of these issues and they end up paying a high price.

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