Legal Law

Divorce Tips: How to Avoid Two Million Dollars in Legal Fees

The divorce rate in the United States has been about fifty percent for decades.

So one in two marriages ends in divorce.

Also, with the legalization of same-sex marriage and civil unions, it is likely that there will be more divorces, simply because there will be more marriages.

Many years ago, a very wealthy couple came to see this author to see if their marriage could be repaired through marriage counseling.

This couple was in trouble. Her husband had discovered that the wife was having an affair with another man. In fact, he had video of her leaving a motel room at three in the morning on several occasions.

In addition, there were many conflicts between the wife and her in-laws.

After seeing the couple about six times, they both came to the conclusion that it would be best if they parted ways and went their separate ways.

They had three young children and substantial assets, including several family businesses, a large home in one of the wealthiest communities in the country, and a large number of offshore bank accounts.

The husband was very angry with the wife and the wife was quite disappointed with her husband.

I suggested that they try to settle the matter in a fair, diplomatic, and civil manner. I reminded them that they could use their funds for their children, for their education, and to establish trust funds and help them start their own businesses if that’s what they wanted to do as they grew up.

I also suggested that they consider mediation as this would save them money, time, emotional energy, and legal costs.

I also explained that the law was probably pretty clear as to what each of them would get once they dissolved their relationship.

Unfortunately, each of them hired law firms that seemed more interested in fighting and generating fees than resolving the matter amicably and efficiently.

After nearly two years of fighting and two million dollars in legal fees, they each ended up with exactly what they would have gotten had they settled their case from the beginning.

Anecdotes like this are still all too common when it comes to divorce law.

According to the famous and highly respected New York lawyer, Barry Slotnick, “The best way to avoid this kind of mess is to use prenuptial agreements before you get married.”

As Mr. Slotnick pointed out in our recent interview, “A prenuptial agreement is needed when two people have a lot of assets and when one person has more assets and wealth than the other.”

A prenuptial agreement is much like a precautionary approach in medicine.

So, if your financial situation warrants it, consider making these types of agreements before you get married.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.