The couple formerly known as Speidi is seeking to get their separate names back as Heidi Montag files for divorce from Spencer Pratt. The duo made famous from the MTV reality show, The Hills, were married last year (televised, of course) in Pasadena, California.
The shocking part of this announcement is the fact that the fame-obsessed couple is actually seeking to legally end their marriage, rather than simply fake a separation, as many people in the press originally speculated. Montag cited irreconcilable differences in her petition to the court. Montag's lawyer, Jodeane Farrell, told People Magazine that, "the couple has agreed they would like their divorce to be finalized in a timely manner in an out of court settlement. Both parties are amicable with each other over the possibility of finalizing a divorce." According to court documents, Montag is also seeking to terminate Pratt's rights to spousal support.
Although their marriage may be the definition of "hollyweird," celebrities and non-celebrities have to go through the same basic process when it comes to divorcing in an out of court settlement. A celebrity divorce typically receives more press when it is in-court because of the public nature of the proceedings - something the Pratts should consider before losing precious publicity money. For everyone else who enjoys privacy, the informal nature of alternative dispute resolution is a good substitute for a courtroom.
The distinction between an in-court and out of court divorce proceedings lies in the decision maker. In-court divorces are ultimately decided by a judge or jury, the goal in out-of-court divorces is to come to a voluntary settlement with the aid of a neutral third party. Compared to the more traditional divorce court setting, alternative dispute resolution is much less adversarial in nature and works well for those couples that agree on the majority of the issues they are forced to deal with in divorce.
For the Pratts, whether in or out of a courtroom, it will be interesting to see if they are able to parlay another reality television show out of their divorce.