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Spotlight: Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton

It’s a well known fact that the best romantic relationships often blossom from friendship.  This is certainly the case for the latest celebrity couple – Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton.  Being in the music industry, Gwen and Blake have crossed paths before.  However, it wasn’t until the pair starred as judges in the popular American TV show, The Voice, that they became fast friends and learned that both were splitting up from their respective exes.  As such, this week we focus on how Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton (and their ex-spouses) have handled their lives post-divorce.

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Many people can be forgiven for thinking that celebrities ‘live the dream’ since it is part of their role to project an image of glamour and perfection.  Behind that image, however, celebrities must navigate through the good, bad and ugly moments of their lives but, unlike most of us, under the constant scrutiny of the media.  Initially, Gwen had been deeply devastated by the failure of her marriage to Gavin Rossdale.  In fact, Gwen has later gone on publicly to discuss how the end of her marriage really felt and commented how shortly after she was living in a haze, unable to think straight and felt as though she was dying.  But she kept reminding herself that she ‘couldn’t go down like this’.  Therefore, being a true artist, Gwen channelled her pain and used it as inspiration for her latest album.  Likewise, Gavin expressed that the end of their marriage was really the opposite of what he had wanted.  Rightly so, Gavin shared that a divorce Is one of the most painful things to experience, apart from death.  But both Gwen and Gavin did agree that they would remain amicable with each other in order to co-parent their three children and make the transition easier for them.  For instance, Gwen and Gavin announced their divorce in a joint statement and asked for privacy from the media while they sorted their lives post-divorce.  Gavin highlighted that one of his biggest challenges as a Dad after the divorce was to try to rebuild a home for his children that would be comparable to the one he had previously shared with Gwen.  In terms of finances, post-break up, it has been suggested that Gwen wishes to avoid providing spousal support to Gavin.

For Gwen, working alongside co-judge Blake who was also going through a divorce at the same time, was extremely helpful for her.  In particular, Gwen believed that it was her friendship with Blake that allowed her to feel secure enough to open up and confront her own marital issues, especially amidst speculations that her ex, Gavin, had been involved in an affair with one of their nannies.   As for Blake, he ended his marriage to Miranda Lambert and used music as an outlet as well. He even went on to collaborate with his new girlfriend, Gwen, to pen songs about his heartbreak.  Blake similarly gushes how lucky and thankful he feels for having Gwen in his life and how, as a fellow judge on the show, she has been a positive influence on him post-divorce.  Both Gwen and Blake have been very public about their newly minted relationship status. The latest news regarding the two is that the couple has hit pause on their future wedding plans to start a family of their own.

As for their exes, they, too, have found ways to move past their divorce and continue to grow in their careers.  Gavin is following in the footsteps of his ex, Gwen, by becoming a judge on the same TV show, The Voice, but the UK version.  Miranda has kept a relatively low profile after the divorce and she has also processed her emotions through writing new music.  In fact, Miranda has declined to do any interviews regarding her album and would rather let the music speak for itself.  She states that her latest album is like every other album of hers, a reflection of where she is in life.  She didn’t the pen songs with any hidden implications towards her ex but rather the songs represent an honest account of her experience.  Her album has been doing extremely well.  Miranda is also reported to have a new boyfriend and has moved on from Blake.

It is interesting to see how differently each of these four musicians has handled their initial break up and their subsequent personal lives and careers post-divorce.  Of course, for each of these celebrities as artists their music is a reflection of their human experience of heartbreak, to which we can all relate as fellow human beings.  Whilst most of us may not be able to pen a hit song after a divorce, we may, nonetheless, all have a cathartic activity to which we can turn which can help us not only to process the change but also to move on to the next chapter in our lives.

Neil Graham, Solicitor and Partner at Grayfords says: The courts in England and Wales are under a duty to see whether they can resolve the financial aspects of a divorce by way of a clean break. Sometimes that is not possible where the parties’ needs require ongoing maintenance. In cases involving children the courts can always order child maintenance until the children reach the age of 18, or complete their secondary education. Furthermore, when parents have both parental responsibility it is inevitable that they will have to have a working relationship with each other in order to ensure that their children’s needs are always met. The general principle is what has been acquired during the course of the marriage should be shared between the parties although not necessarily equally. Conversely, once a line has been drawn the parties should be able to benefit from their own endeavours in the future without a claim by the other. Entering into a pre-nuptial agreement or, in the case of those who choose not to marry, a co-habitation agreement can avoid room for argument if a relationship does break down, thereby freeing the parties interest on rebuilding their lives independently of each other rather than spending time and money on lawyers.

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