What can you learn from celebrity divorces?

In many cases, watching a celebrity marriage crumble can be almost as interesting as watching a blockbuster movie. Who wasn’t thrilled to watch Tom Cruise finally find love and hysterically proclaim it on The Oprah Winfrey Show only to watch it all crumble in 2012 when Katie Holmes unexpectedly announced their split.

Just like television and cinema often reflect life, there’s also a lot we can learn about divorce from watching celebrity marriages end. In fact, let’s look at a few real life lessons.

  1. Divorce is a challenge

Divorce is painful and difficult for everyone, even a celebrity. Tom Cruise admitted as much after Katie Holmes filed for divorce. “Life is a challenge,” he said. “To be 50 and have experiences and think you have everything under control, and then it hits you — that’s what life is…Life is tragicomic,” Cruise added. “You need a certain sense of humor.”

Tom Cruise seems to have fled the scene following his marriage, thrusting himself headlong into his work, but most divorce couples have to continue to live and work in the same area, shuttling kids back and forth and attempting to get along.

  1. Know what you own

Too many people allow one person to manage the household finances. Although this can be simpler, if things do go awry, however, it’s not unusual for one person to use the assets to support their separate lifestyle. Unfortunately, this might include another person like a mistress.

Don’t count on your ex-spouse disclosing everything. Make sure you are involved in the family finances and you understand how much income you have, the debts you owe, the property you own, and what assets will need to be separated during the divorce.

Keep in mind; if your spouse does decide to illegally use the assets prior to the divorce you may have the legal right to reclaim those assets so they can be divided appropriately.

  1. The mother may or may not get custody of the children

Gone are the days when U.S. courts automatically granted custody of the children to the mother. Now, assuming both parents are fit to rear the children, the courts generally seek to have both parents involved in the children’s lives.

The court’s decision, however, is always made with the best interest of the children in mind. Most states have a list of factors they will address before a custodial decision is made. Parents may also have the legal right to seek changes in the custodial arrangement if one parent becomes unfit to care for the child.

  1. The custodial agreement must be followed

Whether you are a celebrity or an average Joe the courts will require you to follow the custodial agreement. If the agreement states that your ex gets the children every Thursday night and on the weekends and you fail to follow the agreement, the court can hold you in contempt of court.

  1. Keep your business private

Celebrities and normal people alike often like to ensure that their side of the story is told. Vocalizing the details of your marriage or divorce on social media, however, can be expensive and damaging to your case.

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