For those who will miss tonight’s segment on Acesso Legal with my comments, here are some of the key points to be gleaned from Tom & Katie’s divorce:
(1) 50% of divorces occur within the first 7 years of marriage, so it is of no surprise that if things started going awry here, this was the perfect time to bail;
(2) There is a 17 year age difference here– Tom just turned 50, and Katie is 33. Research shows that women really grow into their own skin in their 30’s and motherhood significantly changes many of us. Our priorities change, and children often become our primary focus, much to the chagrin of some partners. So, here we have a young mother going through a major transformation, and meanwhile, Tom, who is now 50 and already accustomed to being a father, is simply in a different stage of life.
(3) If you have 2 parents with differing views on major issues, like religion, medical care and education, you are going to have some major clashes. These are fundamental areas that parents have to reach an agreement on if they are going to successfully co-parent their children. If the two can’t decide, then some arbitrary person hearing the custody matter will wind up issuing an order that everyone will have to live with whether they like it or not.
(4) Although I am not privy to the details of the prenup between these two, it is common practice for us to insert provisions about confidentiality in the event of a divorce and the need to quickly cooperate with mediation or a Collaborative Divorce, in order to resolve any issues outside of court and free from public scrutiny. So, while many might be shocked by the divorce and/or how quickly things got resolved, the fact is I am not– but I am very proud of these two parents for working things out so expeditiously and privately in their daughter’s best interest.
While the marriage did not work out, they have a beautiful little girl, who deserves to have regular and frequent contact with both her parents, and a life with minimal drama. Kudos to Tom and Katie for not dragging her– and us– through a horrible public tug-of-war!
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.