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The lessons from Johnny Depp's divorce case

Johnny Depp's divorce case may provide some invaluable lessons to Californians who are unhappy in their marriages. Because of the couple's celebrity status, the publicity has been unavoidable. Still, it shows what people should avoid doing when they are thinking about filing for divorce.

A plan by Depp to auction off a number of pieces of art from his collection of Basquiat works has led some people to wonder whether the sale has resulted because of his pending divorce from Amber Heard. The actor was married for 15 months to Heard before the divorce plans were announced. Since California is a community property state, the assets the couple gained during the short-lived marriage will be subject to division.

Depp's artwork sale is probably not related since the sale was planned before the divorce was announced. Still, in some couple's cases, one spouse will try to sell off his or her assets in order to reduce the assets held by the marital estate in an effort to reduce how much the other spouse will receive. When a person does this in violation of a court's order or sells assets for less than their fair market value, the court may then hold it against the person and allocate a larger share to the other party.

People should also realize that divorce matters are part of the public record. This means that the private information of the couple may be found by anyone. People may be able to avoid some of the potential publicity a divorce can bring by going through an alternative process like a mediated divorce. Family law attorneys may also suggest collaborative divorce or negotiations as a way to avoid having to have crucial decisions made by a judge.

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