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Celebrity Divorce: Confidential

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 By Michael Aurit, JD, MDR and Karen Aurit, MA

Co-Founders, The Aurit Center For Divorce Mediation

Located in Scottsdale, AZ

ThinkstockPhotos dv1217024

Trace Adkins and his wife were the latest to do it. 

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin put it on the map. Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren decided to do it even after a terrible public break-up. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman did it. Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are doing it now—the list goes on and on.

These celebrity pairs all made the choice to avoid a public divorce war in the tabloids and instead, settle out of court in divorce mediation.

Celebrities choose divorce mediation in order to protect their children from a damaging court battle. Protecting their wealth from massive attorney fees also provides motivation. However, the most compelling reason these celebs choose divorce mediation may be to keep their divorce strictly confidential.

What happens in mediation stays in mediation. High profile celebrities know it. As a result, divorce secrets that once made headlines, now never make it out of the mediation room. Divorcing spouses in Arizona and around the country are now choosing mediation over litigation more than ever.

Arizona law, like California’s and most states, protects “mediation confidentiality.” Any communications during mediation are confidential and cannot be used by either spouse against the other at a later date. That includes things said in mediation and emails exchanged with the mediator. Any financial documents exchanged during mediation are also part of the confidential process—a way to keep specific assets, debts, and income private; far from any divorce record that can be pulled up in a simple Google search.