Last month, the divorce of NASCAR driver and Illinois native Danica Patrick was finalized. Patrick filed for divorce from her husband of more than seven years, Paul Hospenthal, in January after announcing the separation in November. According to reports, the divorce filing listed "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the split, and indicated that reconciliation was not possible.
The couple reportedly entered a prenuptial agreement in November 2005 prior to tying the knot and there were no children from the marriage, so the divorce was relatively straightforward. From the very beginning of the process, Patrick and her former husband said that they wanted to settle the divorce amicably. In a public statement, Patrick said both she and Hospenthal were sad to see their marriage end.
According to the divorce filings, Patrick and Hospenthal "participated in the mediation process in order to arrive at a fair and equitable settlement." In divorce mediation, the parties typically sit down with a mediator -- who is a third-party neutral -- in effort to work out as much of the divorce settlement as possible.
Once the parties have reached an agreement on an issue they set it aside and move forward to the next with the help of the mediator. If an impasse is reached, the mediator helps the parties to move forward. In many cases, former couples are able to work out all terms of their divorce during the mediation process, which prevents them from having to go to trial.
Mediation is often considered a less-expensive alternative to traditional divorce because it usually means less in attorney fees and court costs. Not only that, mediation also invokes fewer negative emotions and less conflict between the parties. This is why it is a popular process for the rich and famous as well as regular people.
Source: USA TODAY, "Danica Patrick single again after divorce finalized," Jeff Gluck, April 25, 2013