Denny Hecker and Tamitha do face time without drama

What, she didn't love me?

What, she didn't love me?

Bitter doesn't even begin to describe the divorce battle waged between disgraced auto dealer mogul Denny Hecker and his fourth wife, Tamitha.

Here's a woman who counted out $276,000 in cash from a safety deposit box to prove to a judge that she was getting screwed out of a decent alimony payment -- and who eventually won a $7,500-a-month award.

And here's a guy who once said of his ex, "My only mistake is believing she stayed in the marriage because of love. It has clearly been shown its all about money... a $15-million gold digger from the beginning until today."

Put the two in one room? That seems like a recipe for drama.

But on Thursday they managed to bury the hatchet for the sake of their two kids -- at least for a while. After a three-hour, away-from-the-media negotiation, their lawyers emerged and said a final deal had been struck on parenting issues that could clear the way for financial issues at a later date.

Judge Jay Quam was clearly relieved the face-to-face session didn't turn ugly. He had his law clerk Peter Carlson send an e-mail to reporters thanking the erstwhile warring ex-couple for keeping the lid on their emotions, "their willingness to put aside their differences to reach an agreement on custody and parenting time.

"Thanks to the Hecker's genuine commitment to the best interests of their children, the Heckers have spared their children the substanial stress and uncertainty that a trial on those issues would have involved," Quam said.