With Celebrity divorces like Kim and Kanye and Brad and Angelina being plastered all over the internet I’m sure we’re all wondering, how much of the stuff we read is actually true? While it is comforting to see others going through a similar situation, sometimes it’s difficult to compare the lives of celebrities to the lives of us mortals. That’s why this week we invited Christopher Melcher, a celebrity divorce attorney, and legal commentator out of LA, who handles some extremely high-profile cases onto the show. He will be giving us the inside scoop into how these celebrity divorces happen and how they compare to a normal divorce.
Let’s get this out there…
It’s all bullshit, right? Well, there’s probably a kernel of truth around all that stuff. Through his experience as a divorce attorney Christopher tells us that at the end of the day, celebrity or not, we are all human. We all hurt the same, we all have problems and issues that come up in relationships. However, oftentimes the similarities in the divorce process end there. Ultimately, Celebrities have a different set of concerns when it comes to divorce. Of course, the personal emotional issues that come with divorce still exist, but celebrities also have their image and brand to be concerned about. They have a PR team around them that works full time to manage how they are perceived by the public. These people need to protect their brand because they need to come out of this thing through the other end with a career.
Keeping it Quiet
Often celebrities choose to end their divorce quickly and quietly. In divorce cases where it’s celeb on celeb, dragging the process out is mutual destruction. Regardless of whatever the situation may be behind closed doors, it’s important for their image that they move through the process quickly and as peacefully as possible. Christopher tells us that we can actually learn from the way these celebrities handle their divorces. It is possible to hate someone or to not trust them, and still come to an agreement with them. By dragging a divorce out you’re just running up your court fees and lawyer fees, all while trying to keep your life in order. While it’s incredibly important to reach an agreement that suits your situation, it’s unwise to drag out divorce for any unnecessary reasons.
we can actually learn from the way these celebrities handle their divorces. It is possible to hate someone or to not trust them, and still come to an agreement with them.
All Bite No Bark
One of the hardest things about divorce is finding the right lawyer to guide you through the process. What happens, Christopher explains, is that the client a lot of the time is going to make a choice based on their emotions. If someone is going into a divorce thinking, wow I’m scared I need to fight, they’re likely to choose the most aggressive, nasty lawyer they can find. This is not the right choice. You want someone who is going to tell you no when you’re wrong and to leave your emotions at the door. T.H. points out that it’s pointless to pay someone who’s just going to listen to all the stuff that’s in your head and blindly agree. A good lawyer should be focused on getting you a fair deal and resolving the divorce as quickly as possible. One of Christopher’s clients even complimented him saying he is all Bite and no Bark. That’s the kind of lawyer you want.
What not to do, celeb or not.
Whether you’re a celebrity, an everyday person, young, old, or anywhere in between, there are some things that you should always avoid doing throughout a divorce. In many divorce situations, people let their emotions get the best of them and choose to air out the dirty laundry on their partner. Sharing personal or embarrassing things about one another will only make the process more complicated and unpleasant. Now obviously if there has been a serious act like abuse it’s important to bring that up, to ensure the safety of yourself and your children. But sharing unpleasant details about someone’s life just to get back at them is just going to make matters worse.
Zoom Court, better or worse?
In the beginning of the pandemic, the courts were a nightmare. It became incredibly difficult to get a court hearing, and then after closing the courts they created a huge backlog of hearings. However, once the courts began integrating zoom into their process things began to move much more smoothly. Having your hearing through zoom has several benefits. Aside from the obvious bonus of not having to leave your house, a zoom hearing will likely cost you much less money. Christopher tells us that he only charges clients for the time that he is logged into the zoom meeting, where in the past, the client paid for him to drive to the courthouse and wait around for hours, just for 15 minutes of actual work. This is a huge plus not only for those looking to save some money during the costly divorce process, but also gives unprecedented access to legal representation for people going through financial hardship. Online court sessions also offer a safer setting to handle situations where there may be an abusive partner, now they won’t worry about getting attacked on the way out of court.
However, this isn’t to say that an online format is a complete replacement for in-person court. It’s hard to have small client-attorney interactions through the online format. When in-person you could be sharing notes and whispering to one another. You lose out on a bit of the human interaction that comes with divorce, which depending on the situation, can be positive or negative. Ultimately this new option helps give more people access to proper legal representation and can help mitigate intense court hearings.
Do it for the Right Reason
To wrap things up Jessica asks Christopher what inspired him to get into Family Law. Christopher tells us that even though his profession relies on it he wishes he could end divorce and put himself out of business. He tells us that initially, he wasn’t planning on becoming a divorce lawyer, but the job market and bad economy, paired with a well-timed opportunity led him down this path. He’s become fascinated with his work because he loves helping people through not only the legal and financial aspects of it but truly understanding what their needs are and helping them move past this point in their life. Since Jess’s dad was a doctor, she’s heard all the anti-lawyer jokes out there and feels like divorce lawyers often get the worst of it. But it’s such an important part of your life both now and in the future. You want to make sure you’re working with an attorney you trust and who’s working with you to the best of their abilities.