Actors Rachael Leigh Cook, of “She’s All That” movie fame, and Daniel Gillies, who starred on “The Vampire Diaries,” were married for nearly 15 years when they filed for divorce last year. But this isn’t the piece of information that’s making news – it’s the agreement they came to, with the help of a private mediator, where their children are concerned.
A Need-to-Know Basis
Cook and Gillies share joint legal and physical custody of their two minor children. That’s normal and straightforward. What is an unusual twist in their divorce settlement is a clause stating that both Cook and Gillies must reveal the identity of any romantic or sexual partner to each other first if they plan to introduce that person to their young children.
The paperwork states: “Prior to introducing any romantic partner (a person either party is dating, having a sexual relationship with, or a non-platonic relationship with) to the children, that party shall advise the other party of their intention, the name of the person, and when that party intends to introduce the children to their romantic partner.”
Could you make this kind of clause work for your Michigan divorce? Should you try to make it work?
The Benefits of Checking Your Ex
Anyone in the middle of a particularly caustic Michigan divorce may see this bit of entertainment and legal news and laugh and think, “No way.” They don’t want to bend to anything their ex wants or prefers, let alone be obligated to share personal details with their ex about who they’re intimate with or simply dating.
If you pause though and eliminate the disdain you may feel for your ex, it’s easier to realize that this kind of ask isn’t really about your ex wanting to keep tabs on you, it’s about wanting the best things for your kids. And plenty of divorcing couples worry about the kind of people their former spouse may bring into their kids’ lives.
At its core, this type of request is about respect – there isn’t gossip to be had, and this isn’t about preventing your ex from getting on with their life. A clause like Cook’s and Gillies’s helps both people check themselves before they move too quickly to usher a new person into their kids’ orbit.
There are arguments to be made for and against nearly every kind of clause in a divorce settlement when children are involved – and that’s a good thing. You should want to think twice before you make any big decisions that could emotionally affect your children – and that includes introducing them to someone new you care about who isn’t the mommy or daddy they know and love.
Cook said in a recent interview that she and her former husband have a new relationship since their divorce and talk about things they never talked about before. “I don’t know,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “Divorce needs a new publicist. It’s not that bad.”
If you want an amicable divorce, if you want to add unconventional clauses to your divorce settlement that are right for the new shape of your family unit, if you want to find out whether divorce mediation will work for you and your ex, hire a Macomb, Michigan, divorce lawyer who is ready to support you and your divorce goals. Contact Michigan Divorce Help to schedule your free initial consultation.