Celebrity Divorce Role Models: Russell Brand and Katy Perry

We all know about dreadful celebrity divorces–the type where the future exes drag each other’s name through the mud, hang their dirty personal laundry out in the tabloids, scrap for every dollar, and argue over child custody issues. Astonishingly, though, there are celebrities who bring their marriage to an end quietly and peacefully. Today’s exemplars of A-list Divorce Done Right are Russell Brand and Katy Perry.

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Divorce Social Media Dos and Don’ts

Back in your grandparents’ day, there were plenty of annoying things about getting divorced (aside, of course, from just getting divorced). Your lawyers couldn’t angrily email each other; instead, they had to call and yell at each other, or worse, send irate letters via snail mail. You couldn’t fill out forms electronically, or easily print out as many copies as you needed quickly. Rather, some poor secretary had to sit and painstakingly type all the documents on crinkly carbon paper, all of which had to be tossed out if there was a tiny typo.

However, there was one big giant divorce disaster-in-the-making that they didn’t have to deal with back, oh, eight years ago: social media missteps.

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Five Slowest States for Divorces

Well, you and your spouse have decided that it’s time to call it quits. Divorce, no matter how amicable the parting, is never a pleasant experience, though, so it’s understandable that you two would want to get this over with as soon as possible.

If that’s your goal, here are five states where you would rather not be living when you file for your divorce, because they’re going to make it slooooow…

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Five Fast States for a Divorce

Suppose you and your spouse decide it’s over and you want to move on as fast as possible. Two factors play into the speed of your divorce (provided, of course, that there’s little controversy between you): minimum processing time and minimum residency requirements. Let’s take a look at some of the states that allow you to move quickly in these areas.

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Money Pit: Top Ten Most Expensive Divorces

The rich are different. Their divorces cost more.

What happens when the uber-wealthy can’t make the love work anymore? First, the lawyers make a lot of money. Second, they race to find a spot on this list of the world’s most expensive divorces.

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Bari Weinberger talks to eHealth Radio about Divorce and Impacts on your Health

Listen to interview with New Jersey family law attorney Bari Weinberger and eHealth Radio host Eric Michaels as they discuss Divorce and Your Health topics that include answers to the following questions:

1. How does divorce affect a person’s health?
2. What is divorce anger?
3. How common is domestic violence and what should someone who is a victim do to protect themselves?
4. How can people minimize the impacts of divorce?
5. What can parents do to minimize the impacts of divorce on their children?
6. What are some ways people can prepare for a divorce?
7. What do you advise people to look for when choosing a divorce lawyer?
8. How can people prepare for their 1st meeting with their lawyer?

Topics addressed in this radio interview can also be heard in our vitally-important video/webinar: The 5 Critical Risks of Divorce!

Summary Tips:

  • Keep it amicable. The more reasonable and amicable everyone is, the shorter the process and it can ultimately help lessen the overall cost, both financially and to the health and well-being of all involved.
  • Don’t get your children involved the more you get them involved the more resentful they will be and the more it will harm your relationship with your children.
  • Don’t be afraid to make compromises. A small compromise doesn’t need to translate into a weakness. A small compromise can often be recognized as a big gesture by the other party and can help move the process towards a quicker settlement. Try not to get caught up in the little battles and focus on the big picture.

Bari suggests, in her closing remarks, “Find a divorce lawyer who knows how to fight, but really appreciates how to listen to you, to know what you want and knows the best approach for you and your unique circumstances because every case is different and not every case should be a battle.”

Will New Jersey Voters Decide on Same-Sex Marriage?

With a vote of 8-4, the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, marking the first significant development in gay marriage rights since December 2006, when civil unions were enacted in the state.

In the debate before the vote, proponents of same-sex marriage relayed personal stories of discrimination and pointed out flaws in the current civil union law. (New Jersey’s civil union law is being challenged in state court by Lambda Legal, a national gay-rights advocacy group, which argues that civil unions in New Jersey don’t provide the same benefits and protections as marriage.)

Bill opponents argued that changes to the state’s marriage laws would diminish the meaning of marriage and quotes from the Bible condemning homosexuality and its supporters, NJ.com reports.

After the vote, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a first-term Republican, spoke out to say that he plans to veto the bill. He also challenged the State Legislature to instead put the issue on the ballot for voters to decide in the November election. A voter referendum on same-sex marriage is an “alternative path” to finally resolve the issue, Christie said. He then compared the gay marriage bill to a movie.

“We all know how this movie is going to end,” Christie, 49, told reporters after the Senate committee made its decision. “If they pass the bill, and they know this, it’s going to be vetoed. If they attempt to override that, the veto will be sustained. And they know that, so I’m trying to give them an alternate movie.”

If a statewide referendum on gay marriage were to occur, and the measure passed, New Jersey would become the first U.S. state where same-sex couples’ right to wed is approved by a public vote. Court rulings or legislation led to the gay marriage measures passing in the six states and the District of Columbia where it’s legal. Voters have rejected legalization in all 31 referendums on the issue, according to Freedom to Marry, a New York-based national advocacy organization.

Proponents of same-sex marriage are strongly urging Gov. Christie to rethink his veto plan. “Marriage equality isn’t like sports betting,” Sen. Raymond Lesniak, a Democrat, told the NYT, making reference to another amendment that was recently passed through a referendum. “It’s a civil right, which is already guaranteed in our Constitution. It’s up to the Legislature to guarantee these rights.” Lesniak sponsored the bill.

But if a vote on gay marriage happened today in New Jersey? It looks like it just might pass. Last week, a poll from Quinnipiac University (via the Wall Street Journal) found 52% support for gay marriage among New Jersey voters, the first time approval has edged over the 50% mark.


Bari Weinberger – The Voice of Central Jersey WCTCAM Radio Exclusive Interview

Central New Jersey’s 1450 WCTC AM Talk Radio Bert Baron talks to Bari Weinberger with this EXCLUSIVE interview aired yesterday, Tuesday, January 17, 2012.

Hear this on-air on-demand podcast radio interview and learn more about family law attorney Bari Weinberger. Included in the interview is a discussion about our vitally-important webinar: The 5 Critical Risks of Divorce!

Would Divorce Mediation Have Protected Celebrity Zooey Deschanel’s Financial Information?

“New Girl” star Zooey Deschanel filed for divorce on December 23, likely hoping that news of her split from husband, Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard, would not be buzz-worthy enough to make headlines during the holidays. The low-key star may have escaped public scrutiny, except for one key mistake: the divorce filing was accompanied by a copy of the actress’s personal financial information.

Not that she has anything to be embarrassed about. Far from being a Hollywood spendthrift, Zooey’s divorce documents show a money-savvy starlet who even gives regularly to charity. Her income and expense declaration, according to TMZ, shows that Zooey makes $95,000 a month on her hit TV sitcom, but only spends about $22,500 a month on such items as:

-Telephone, cell & e-mail – $300
-Groceries – $1,000
-Eating Out – $500
-Dry Cleaning – $600
-Utilities – $800
-Clothes – $2,000
-Charity – $1,500

Deschanel’s statements also verified that she has zero credit card debt, and has saved up $1,578,000 in the bank, $1,645,000 in stocks and $693,300 in property, bringing the 32-year-old celebrity’s net worth to a cool 3.9 million.

Other than demonstrating the value of spending relatively little and saving a lot, Zooey Deschanel’s case teaches anyone contemplating divorce a valuable lesson in privacy. Could she have done anything different to keep her financial information out of the public eye? Yes, if she had gone the route of divorce mediation or if her attorney had advised her to get the financials sealed as part of the divorce process.

Because mediated divorce is handled privately, and not in a courtroom, financial statements are primarily only seen by the mediator and parties involved, except of course if other experts are brought in — this can ultimately keep them our of public divorce records. Celebrities, athletes, and other high profile individuals are often counseled to seriously consider mediation as a way to protect financial and personal issues during times of divorce. But even for non-celebrities, maintaining privacy is important and, in this way, mediation holds a key advantage over litigation.

Another way divorce mediation helps? Zooey and Ben Gibbard married in 2009 and don’t have children. However, for couples with children, the more amicable tone of divorce mediation can help to preserve parent-child relationships (and make co-parenting easier), as opposed to litigation which can further sever the relationship. Also, divorce mediation enables you to set the terms of your divorce and gives you great flexibility in the final outcome of your divorce settlement. If a judge is deciding, you place yourself at the mercy of the court, which may not be best in your situation.

As for Zooey, we know the “New Girl” is new to divorce, but we hope she starts to get some better advice on how to handle the proceedings without the gossip grapevine having access to her every move.

For more information specific to the divorce mediation in New Jersey, please read our “Divorce Mediation” page and contact us with any questions specific to your marital situation.

Additional Resources From Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group, LLC on Divorce Mediation:
Blog Post: Seven Myths About Divorce Mediation

Yahoo Finance – Zooey Deschanel Saves Her Pennies:
The Washington Post – Zooey Deschanel Files for Divorce from Ben Gibbard:
TMZ – Zooey Deschanel Financial Net Worth Divorce:

Talking About Marriage & Divorce…

Which celebrity power couple announced their divorce after being married for just over a year–and which celeb is on tap to make a huge payout to a former spouse? What happened to make an Italian couple the oldest divorcees in the world? And what new details were revealed this week about a prominent politician’s divorce? After scouring the web for the latest news, views, and tweets from the world of marriage & divorce, here’s the scoop on this week’s headline-grabbing stories:

Celebrity Divorces:


Katy Perry and Russell Brand won’t be ringing in the New Year with their wedding rings on, after Russell filed for divorce in California on December 30, 2011, citing irreconcilable differences. Divorce rumors began to swirl around the comedian and Teenage Dream singer when it was reported that they had spent this year’s holiday season living apart.

According to TMZ,  Russell indicated the couple have “community property assets”, a sign the star couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement, or the one they did sign doesn’t cover all of the earnings and other assets they accumulated since their October 2010 wedding.

In other Hollywood news, Mel Gibson officially became single again this week, but not before paying out half of his estimated $850 million fortune to ex-wife Robyn Moore in what is being called one of the largest divorce settlements in history.

Because the couple didn’t have a prenuptial agreement, Robyn, 55, was legally entitled to half of everything he earned during their marriage and she is also entitled to 50 per cent of Mel’s future film earnings. According to the OC Register, Mel now joins such fellow celebs as Paul McCartney and Tiger Woods when it comes to high payout divorce settlements. In 2006, Paul McCartney paid former wife Heather Mills a sum of $50 million after arguing with the judge that his assets were not as great as Heather claimed. In 2010, Tiger Woods paid Elin Nordegren $100 million after their five-year marriage ended in scandal.

Sources & Resources  this week for Celebrity News:

In Political News:


Newt Gingrich’s campaign still denies that it was the former Speaker of the House who sought a divorce in 1980 from first wife Jackie Battley Gingrich, an issue that has been the basis of personal attacks in the lead up to the Republican primary race. But as CNN reports, recently unearthed court documents show that not only did Newt file for divorce, citing the marriage as “irretrievably broken” but Jackie Gingrich responded to the complaint by asking the judge to reject her husband’s filing, stating, “Defendant shows that she has adequate and ample grounds for divorce, but that she does not desire one at this time.”

Newt Gingrich maintains that his wife requested the divorce, with daughter Jackie Gingrich Cushman bolstering this account in an op-ed she wrote last year. Until they were located last week, the Gingrich divorce court documents had been hidden in an undisclosed location due to security concerns, says the Clerk of Court for the Carroll County Superior Court in Carrollton, Georgia.

Sources & Resources this week for Political News:


Are we about to set a new record for the world’s oldest divorce couple? A few days before Christmas, a 99-year old Italian man, identified by lawyers only as Antonio C, was rummaging though some papers when he discovered a set of love letters from the 1940s written by his wife of 77 years, Rosa C, 96, to the man she had a secret affair with all those decades ago. Though Rosa came clean about her past indiscretions, Antonio immediately filed for divorce. The couple have five children, a dozen grandchildren and one great-grand child. If the divorce does go through, Rosa and Antonio will become the world’s oldest divorcees, displacing current record holders,  Bertie and Jessie Wood, both aged 98, from the UK.

Sources & Resources this week for Worldwide News:

Marriage in Tweets:

As seen in Twitter this week:
Marriage isn’t until dislike do us part; It is until death do us part. Choose your spouse wisely #Marriage — via @marriage4

Some wise words to consider as we welcome 2012.

Happy New Year!