Courtney Cox has been a beloved American icon since her role as Monica Geller on the timeless television series Friends. Cox married her husband David Arquette in 1999 while still filming Friends. By 1999 the show was a raging success and all of the Friends characters were collecting a reported $125,000 per episode. Interestingly, however, the divorce paperwork filed in the Cox-Arquette case makes no mention of a premarital agreement.
Arquette signed the dissolution paperwork on March 23, 2012. However, the couple has been separated since October 2010. In October they announced they were taking time apart in order to reevaluate themselves and the relationship. The initial paperwork indicated that Arquette was filing pro per and therefore pursuing a divorce without formal legal representation. Even more shocking, Cox filed her initial responsive documents pro per as well. Currently, Cox is worth an estimated $75 million dollars while Arquette is worth only $18 million. With such a large discrepancy between the parties’ net worth and no mention of a premarital agreement, it is surprising that so far no lawyers have been called to represent either spouse. Although neither party has formal legal representation, it is possible that both spouses have consulted attorneys prior to filing any paperwork.
Cox and Arquette have both expressed the aspiration to remain close friends as they raise their daughter together. The main focus for both parents through the divorce process is to remain effective co-parents. This desire for an amicable divorce may be motiving the parties to pursue a divorce pro per. However, contrary to general belief, lawyers can help the litigation process proceed even more smoothly and harmoniously. A lawyer has the skill and knowledge necessary to inform the parties of their legal rights. One or both parties may be misinformed about what exactly they are entitled to receive under the California Family Code. Experienced attorneys are trained negotiators who work hard to settle disputes. An attorney’s skill as a mediator and negotiator can help facilitate an agreement between amicable parties who disagree on any particular issue.
The court system often implements confusing yet stringent rules of procedure. Therefore, an attorney can easily file the correct forms within the proper deadlines to ensure that the case is not dismissed or negatively impacted due to a technicality. In addition to the risk of a procedural mistake, parties may make irreversible errors with respect to property division. Family law involves many complicated substantive rules especially regarding tax implications of retirement, real estate, intellectual property (especially important in celebrity divorce cases) and stock options. This is especially risky in a high profile celebrity divorce case in which both parties have amassed a considerable fortune.
Please contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse, a legal separation, or have questions regarding child custody and visitation. Nancy J. Bickford is the only attorney in San Diego County representing clients in divorces, who is a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) and who is actively licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.