Ben Stiller and his wife are the latest Hollywood couple to split. Like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie before them, the drama with their divorce was over almost as soon as it started.
That's because high-profile couples all know a little something about the best ways to keep their private family business as private as possible in a world where being a public figure makes that nearly impossible.
How do these ultra-high-profile couples do it? Let's examine the tactics they take:
-- Pitt and Jolie put to rest rumors of child abuse and alcoholism and ended their public relations merry-go-round by hiring a private judge. Private judges have to be approved by the local family court, but they work outside the actual court system and are hired by the individual parties involved. Their decisions are just as binding as a regular family court judge -- but they typically hear their cases in a conference room or an office. Not only does this keep the divorce off the court docket and out of the public eye, it can speed up the process for those anxious to be done with their family conflict and able to afford the additional cost.
-- Stiller and his wife, Christina Taylor, also took steps to avoid the limelight. By the time the press caught wind of their divorce, the whole thing was nearly over. Instead of hiring a private judge, they took advantage of some more familiar methods to quietly settle their issues -- like meditation.
They also kept a united public front while they privately worked on sorting out a compromise to the majority of their divorce issues. By the time the divorce filing became public, all the details of their agreed-upon settlement were mostly finished. That meant the couple didn't have to endure seeing every twist and turn in their negotiations plastered in the headlines.
They also followed the examples of several other media-savvy couples and let the news of their divorce leak right before a holiday weekend. That meant the news coverage got a little lost among other newsworthy events -- a far smarter strategy than releasing the news and filing on a Monday or some other time when the news is already slow and hungry for fodder.
An experienced divorce attorney can provide you with more information on how to avoid publicity in your own high-profile divorce.