Things are a lot less complicated when you never married. They’re also a lot less expensive. For starters, there was no expensive wedding. And once the relationship is over there’s no expensive divorce.
But there’s also no division of assets and probably no custody agreement or child-support as such when children are involved.
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One is excused for thinking that Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton have been together forever. They met on their first collaboration Planet of the Apes in 2001 and have since made another half dozen movies together. Helena has been widely considered Tim’s muse and they do have another project coming up next year.
But Helena says that there may be fewer shared projects in the future, because Tim might eventually be sick of her after all. It was said jokingly, but perhaps with a smidgen of truth.
The two have a son and a daughter together and have lived in adjoining houses in London throughout most of their relationship. Whilst one of them owns one of the houses each, they have been connected and share a common room. Helena denied that the couple never lived together, which she called a load of myth, but they each had their private space to retire to when desired.
It was perhaps one of the things that made their relationship successful. And that’s what Helena certainly considers it.
She recently called it special and as good as it was in the past, it was probably not meant to be forever after. Not every relationship is and looking at divorce rates we would have to admit, that quite a minority of relationships lasts happily for a lifetime.
They made theirs work for as long as they could and eventually separated. When the split was announced last December, the couple had reportedly been separated for quite some time already, perhaps even up to a year.
Clearly very few outsiders would have guessed that, because Helena and Tim continued to appear together, work together, live in their houses more or less together and showed up for their children together.
Calling it an amicable split seems almost an understatement.
Whilst Helena admitted that she could write a thesis about the break-up and that there was stuff to work through, they were getting there and that is certainly what it looks like to the rest of us. They would have had to have broken up for a reason, after all.
Some say Tim’s rumoured new girlfriend, his production assistant of then three years Berenice Percival, might have had something to do with that. If that was the case, it didn’t destroy Helena’s and Tim’s relationship beyond recognition. There might have been some damage, but perhaps Berenice came in at a time where cracks had already been appearing. She merely opened them a little wider and stepped inside.
It’s also been said that Helena had lovers since the couple first split, though there is no evidence to that and if it’s true all the better for her, at least she’s moving on.
Be that as it may, looking at their relationship and eventual break-up one is inclined to give it preference to what everybody else is doing: getting married and then messily divorced with a likelihood of at least 50% these days.