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Actress and husband show how to collaborate in midst of divorce

Spokane residents who have gone through the process know that divorce can be an emotionally difficult time. The breakup of two people who used to love each other is hard, and often they don't want to sit in the same room with each other to go through the work required for division of assets and other labor-intensive parts of the process of divorce. However, those who can put aside their emotional conflicts and work together on a settlement often end up with a better result.

It isn't often that Hollywood stars provide good role models in divorce, but actress Jane Seymour and her husband, producer James Keach, were models of collaboration recently when they appeared onstage together for a charity event the day after they announced they would be divorcing after 20 years of marriage.

The "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" actress announced the pending divorce on April 12, but the next day both she and Keach appeared onstage at a gala event for the Open Hearts Foundation charity. They told reporters that, though they are still negotiating the terms of the split, they intend to keep working together in business, charity and as parents. The couple married in 1993 and have 17-year-old twin boys. Seymour has already been divorced three times and Keach twice.

Needless to say, theirs is not the typical divorce. However, the dissolution of their marriage will resemble those of less famous Washington couples in many important ways. Washington law demands equitable distribution of marital property upon divorce, so generally all couples must go through the process of listing all their assets and determining what counts as marital property and what does not. From there, they must find a way to split the marital property in a way that meets Washington standards of fairness.

All this can take a lot of time, and it can be hard to negotiate with someone while nursing hurt feelings or animosity. But with the right help, Washington residents can work through the difficult parts on the way to their new lives.

Source: Washington Post, "Love, etc.: Jane Seymour and James Keach split," April 14, 2013

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