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More we can learn from Angelina and Brad's divorce

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A few lines I wrote were gratefully included as one of the 6 things to learn from this very public divorce (there were many experts quoted), but here are my entire comments below. Here's the original HuffPost article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/heres-what-every-couple-can-learn-from-brangelinas-divorce_us_57eea636e4b082aad9bb18fa

And here are my thoughts, including the ones used in the above piece:

Things non celebs can learn from Brad and Angelina's divorce.

1. Everyone is vulnerable, to divorce. It happens. Even to those we thought it would never happen to, like Brad and Angelina. So prepare. Even though you know it will never happen to you. Even if you are positive it will never happen to you, at least think about what would happen were your spouse to file for divorce tomorrow. This does not mean you should behave any differently. And in fact, many people cannot and will not even think about what would happen were they to divorce. And that is understandable and admirable in many ways. But if and when it happens, do not regret having lived without fear of divorce and then whatever the divorce may bring, the greatest reward may be that you didn't live your life planning for divorce. As a divorce lawyer for 30 years, I know divorce happens often to those who thought it would never ever happen to them.

2. Hire the best (or the best you can afford). Brad and Angelina both have excellent lawyers who will certainly and almost certainly already have discuss(ed) the case privately and who will both try their best to keep this from ever going to court. Good lawyers understand the enormous benefits of settlement, for big or small cases. Resolution without a knock-down trial is almost always better for the parties and certainly better for the kids. Good lawyers, seasoned, experienced lawyers can usually both agree on the parameters of likely outcomes in court, so they each know what settlement is okay, or within what would likely happen in court and can advise their clients accordingly.

3. They had children without being married. So truthfully the divorce legally restores them to how they were Pre marriage , two adults with children. But the divorce may actually, in some ways, make things better. They will have schedules and predictability. What if they never married and then broke up? Who would get the kids? When would the other side see the kids. Who would decide medical and educational issues? They could have filed a custody case at that time but for now, at least a judge will have to approve whatever arrangement hey agree on and they now are each forced to try to develop a parenting plan for the future. A divorce and custody agreement can give structure and predictability to the situation and the children will know when they are to be with each parent. Sometimes that knowledge, that ability to look forward to time with mom or dad, can give kids a sense of peace, a sense that they need not worry that they won't see the other parent. And that can be very valuable.

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