On September 25th, Anthony Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in prison for sending sexually explicit text messages to a minor. In this article I do not wish to comment on his crime or sentencing, but rather the interesting dynamic in court between him and his wife, Huma Abedin, during their divorce proceedings in the weeks leading up to his sentencing.
Why was it interesting to me? I had seen photos of Abedin and Weiner under breathless headlines in the New York newspapers and I’ve tried to make sense of it all. In the photos, they were sitting elbow-to-elbow in the courtroom, rather than at separate tables, and seemed to be getting along quite well. I read that they got into the same chauffeured car when they left the courthouse and were even seen laughing together. So why on earth were they asking a judge to make such personal decisions for them and their son? Why did they put the details of their family and finances on public display?
Each of them has a well-respected attorney who could be helping them negotiate their divorce in the privacy and comfort of one of their conference rooms, as opposed to sitting and waiting for their case to be called in a busy courtroom. No one would have been whispering and pointing at them as they walked down the courthouse’s sterile corridor, their footsteps echoing against shabby walls and tiled floors. No photographers or reporters would have had the chance to be waiting with their cameras and microphones in their faces as they entered and left the building.
They obviously adore their son, and it’s clear that he is the most important thing to both of them. And it’s also clear that, in spite of the pain and betrayal and sadness they’ve experienced, they still seem to respect and care for each other. Huma even asked the criminal judge to be lenient on Anthony for the sexting crime that he’s been convicted of. To me, that is a strong sign that they could have risen above the pain and worked toward a solution in their divorce that was focused on what they wanted their future to be.
If they work toward settlement, they still have the power to keep the details of their case out of the public eye. It’s not too late. And it’s not too late for anyone else who is contemplating divorce and who wants privacy and control over the process. To get started, contact me.
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