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Arquette divorce may buck the trend of celebrity divorce gaffes p2

Danica McKellar of "The Wonder Years" filed for divorce last week. It looks as if Kobe Bryant and his wife may reconcile. In their home state, a divorce is not final for at least six months after filing, and the waiting period is up but the documents aren't signed. Oprah Winfrey is promoting her interview with Kim Kardashian by promising stunning revelations about the celebrity's short-lived marriage. Mel Gibson's family troubles have been out of the headlines for a while, though a new book about him promises stories about his infamous temper.

Celebrity is a strange thing, really. Or is it that we are strange when it comes to celebrities? We seem to know more about their private lives than we know about our own. It is only right that we put that knowledge to use, then, if only as examples of how not to handle marital discord, a divorce or a custody fight.

Kardashian provides us with one lesson. She and her husband split almost a year ago, but their divorce still isn't final. One reason may be that she and her family were less than reticent with the press about her husband's faults. Trash-talking someone in public can only exacerbate a difficult situation; emotions continue to run high, the media continues to publish unflattering speculation about both parties and more time is spent on damage control than on working out a settlement. The lesson: Find neutral words to explain the split, and move on.

While Mel Gibson and the mother of his child fought in public about child custody and support, other celebrity couples have agreed to terms and then changed their minds. Not a good idea. If, for example, Kim Basinger had stuck to the terms of her custody agreement with ex-husband Alec Baldwin, the couple would have avoided some nasty press as well as damage to their relationships with their daughter.

What happened? We'll explain in our next post.

Source: Huffington Post, "Celebrity Divorce: What It Can Teach Us," Silvana D. Raso, June 5, 2012

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