As a divorce lawyer, I follow with interest the high profile divorces when they are in the news. There were actually three in yesterday and today’s papers, John & Kate, Christie Brinkley and Peter Cooke and Stephanie Seymour.
If the news accounts of the allegations are correct, then the news of the last few days included one party wiping out a large bank account and leaving the other with little cash; the other party in the same case not allowing the spouse to share in the children’s birthday party; failure to timely turn over a passport so that a child could attend a school trip being chaperoned by the other parent; and the destruction of art work in the family home. A few weeks ago, one of the combatants was quoted about how he "despised" the other spouse. Even if you think that, why do you say it, especially in the press, no less.
These kind of things happen every day in divorces that don’t make the news. That does not make it right. The process is difficult enough for the parties and their children without having to deal with aberrant, aggressive or hateful conduct. When it clearly happens, the conduct usually blows up in the face of the perpetrator.
Having represented a few professional athletes and celebrities or their spouses in the past, it is fascinating how these things play out in the press. I wonder, with disbelief, especially now that the Internet provides a record of everything, why certain dirty laundry is aired in such a public way where the kids (or their friend, classmates, etc.) may be able to see it either now or in the future. Some of this may be unavoidable because most divorce filings are public records available for anyone to see. That said, one wonders if there is not a better way. Is the prolonging of the 15 minutes of fame worth it?.