Cupid's Pulse Article: Celebrity Divorce Attorney Laura Wasser Gives Tips on Divorcing Peacefully In New BookCupid's Pulse Article: Celebrity Divorce Attorney Laura Wasser Gives Tips on Divorcing Peacefully In New Book

By Priyanka Singh

With the climbing divorce rate reaching over 50 percent, many Americans fear the catastrophic events of a messy split. However, celebrity divorce attorney Laura Wasser has some words of wisdom to help divorcees in her new book, It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself. The author’s southern California location opens her up to a world of A-list celebrity clients, including Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears, and Heidi Klum. Even though the private lives of these stars are under constant media scrutiny and exposure, Wasser explains that divorce disputes have the potential to be fairly painless, particularly in the familial and financial aspects of a settlement. She also spends quite a lot of time working with pro bono cases for the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, calling divorce a “great equalizer” because of the emotional distress couples experience is the same across the board.

In an exclusive interview with, Wasser talks about the evolving world of divorce and provides some tips to guide you through a separation as seamlessly as possible.

Related Link: Short-Term Celebrity Marriages (Learn From Their Mistakes)

You’ve been in your line of work for nearly two decades. What is one common mistake that you see couples make during their divorce?

Over the past twenty years, particularly during the last five, it occurred to me that parties going through the dissolution process often go in hugely uninformed. Ignorance paired with an emotionally and financially devastating life crisis can be dangerous. Family law attorneys will often make a lot of money to the detriment of clients and their families. There are so many clients who have said, “If only I knew then what I know now.”

I have a message in my book to give to people contemplating or going through this experience, one that spans socioeconomic, gender, and age groups: It doesn’t have to be that way. Our generation has the tools available to us by virtue of education, the Internet, and mental health and counseling opportunities that our parents’ generations and those before them didn’t have. By employing these tools and having a relatively user-friendly guide, I believe the divorce process can be simplified and improved.

What are some tips you can give our readers about how to maintain financial and emotional stability?

Marriage is a contract. Dissolving that contract should be handled as an arm’s length business transaction. Remember that this person will no longer be your spouse, but he or she will continue to be your co-parent, family member, and possibly business partner in certain assets or entities. Be nice; be reasonable; and be brief. Try not to let emotion, hurt, fear, or anger dictate the circumstances of your discussions or negotiations.

Do you think the divorce rate will continue to rise in the coming years? 

It is my hope that it will be reduced because people are waiting until they are older before getting married and people are making a more concerted effort  to work through their marital differences. Although divorce has become a far more viable option than it was in the past, it certainly should not be used as the easy way out.

You’ve acknowledged that current generation’s realities have evolved a lot in recent years. How has this change played a role in the divorce rate?

The American family culture has changed significantly in the past 50 years. There are same-sex couples who marry or register as domestic partners and become parents; couples who live together for prolonged periods of time and have children; and stepparents who are integrated into family life more than ever before. An attitude of “it takes a village” often permeates our culture.

There is a whole new way to dissolve your relationship — really a whole new choice of ways to do it. The evolution in family law has been accompanied by advances in mediation, collaborative practice, and self-representation. Plus, there’s been a substantive body of data that impacts dissolution, direct and indirect, on all parties.  There is also a movement of divorce attorneys — like me — who know how to help their clients navigate this territory and emerge from it strong in mind, spirit, and resources and eager to move on to the next stage of their lives.

Related Link: Second (and Third) Marriages: Destined for Divorce?

It’s no secret that you’re a supporter of prenuptial agreements. Why do you think they’re so important?

A prenuptial agreement is appropriate when a couple is seeking to opt out of the laws regarding marital property and/or spousal support which govern the state in which they live or are planning to live. Not everyone should have one; they’re appropriate on a case-by-case basis. They’re not only based on income levels but can clarify and individual’s assets coming into the marriage, certain testamentary issues, gifts between spouses prior to and during marriage, and more. It’s important to discuss financial expectations and expenses prior to entering into the marriage contract, and a prenuptial agreement is one way of leading into that conversation.

I am always astounded at the couples who come to me after being married for some period of time and reveal that they never had such a conversation, whether a prenuptial agreement was in place or not. Conversations about money certainly aren’t sexy or romantic, but they should give each of you some clarity and enable you to enter into your marriage with a better understanding of each other.

To purchase It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way, check Amazon or your local bookstore. You can also read more about her background at