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Desperate Housewife No More

November 29, 2010

Eva Longoria walked into my office today and said “Attorney Oreste, I’m getting divorced from my husband Tony Parker and I want you to represent me.”  I responded, “Of course, Ms. Longoria – Let’s talk about why you want a divorce before we move forward.”  She leaned back in her chair and answered, “He’s a liar and a cheater.  I want the world to know I’m divorcing him because he’s an unfaithful SOB.”

The only truths to the fictional scenario above are that I’m a pop culture geek, and, more importantly, Eva Longoria and Tony Parker, the star-studded couple, are getting divorced.  Celebrity divorce is a Hollywood cliché these days because it happens so often. However, what all divorces have in common are hurt feelings and tension for all parties involved – especially when the reason for divorce is adultery. 

In these type of divorce cases, the victim (Eva) wants to file a divorce based on the adulterer’s (Tony’s) conduct. Eva is devastated and extremely hurt, therefore she wants to make sure that the court knows – and the court records show for that matter – that the only reason for this divorce is Tony’s affair with his teammate’s wife.  Eva insists adultery be the grounds for divorce.  This is a common initial reaction with clients.  But, as counterintuitive as it seems, it’s harder to get a divorce if adultery is the only grounds because then, the party that brought the divorce must prove the adultery.  This may involve bringing Tony’s mistress, Erin Barry into court to testify.  Divorce proceedings are stressful enough without adding another party to the mix to recount the gory details of an affair.

If Longoria and Parker were getting divorced in Massachusetts, I’m sure Eva Longoria’s attorney (hopefully that would be me) would advise her that the best way to get a divorce is through a no-fault divorce where the grounds are the more general “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.”   An irretrievable breakdown still has to be proven but, in Eva’s case, if she testifies that there was a breakdown, a court will rarely go against her word even if Parker tries to contest it.

The hardest part on two people getting divorced is getting past the anger and hurt in order to get the process over with as quickly as possible.  For many going through divorce, they can’t get past their emotions and see the other side of the tunnel.  They desperately need the support of family and friends as well as a good lawyer who is able to help the client make rational decisions at a very difficult time.  With proper guidance and support, the client can begin the healing process as soon as possible and move on to the next chapter of life. In Eva’s case, sooner is much better than later because she’ll need to have that tattoo of her soon-to-be ex-husband’s jersey number removed from the back of her neck.

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