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One celebrity hoping to keep divorce private through mediation

Hollywood is almost as well-known for messy divorces as it is for making movies. Every week, tabloid headlines chronicle the rise and fall of celebrity marriages. Fights over kids, money, and property play out before the public eye. To minimize this kind of exposure in her own breakup with Kris Humphries, Kim Kardashian is pursuing private divorce mediation as an alternative to a public trial.

In private mediation proceedings, a professional and neutral mediator sits down with the couple behind closed doors to work out a mutually satisfactory divorce agreement. Although the mediator is often an attorney, each party still tends to have their own lawyer present.

Choosing a private divorce is a surprising move for someone who is so used to being in the spotlight, but it may be that Kardashian has good reason to want to keep the details of her split secret. Her soon-to-be ex-husband is asking for an investigation to determine if Kardashian ever had any real intent to stay married in the first place, alleging that the marriage may have been fraudulent.

In addition to increased privacy, there are other benefits to a mediated divorce. If the couple is able to agree on various issues, it can be relatively inexpensive compared to drawn out court proceedings. The informality of the process also allows for more flexible and civil negotiations.

However, if mediation fails, traditional divorce proceedings are still an option. The purpose of divorce mediation is merely to avoid the potential pain, cost, and embarrassment that can result from couples going head-to-head in a public forum.

Source: Winnipeg Free Press, "Kim Kardashian wants private divorce," Feb. 8, 2012

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