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Scorched earth divorces come at a cost

Divorce comes at a price. There is the emotional toll of the couple whose marriage falls apart, which can leave feelings on a spectrum from anger, frustration, and sadness to relief and even JOY. There are also the legal and financial issues to consider as the once-romantic partnership is dissolved and the estate is divided. Ideally, the couple can see eye-to-eye or negotiate their way to a fair and equitable settlement, but sometimes that is not possible. If that is the case, it can end up costing couples even more money.

An extreme example of this is a New York City hedge-fund manager and his wife. A New York appellate court judge has ordered Remy Trafalent to pay $4.1 million in advance of a court battle with his wife, Lara. The couple's estate is estimated to be worth $200 million. This huge sum, due to a complex financial portfolio, necessitates a high level of analysis involving valuation, accounting and legal issues. It will come with a team of financial experts, attorneys, accountants and experts on the value of property, art and other pieces of the estate.

Making matters worse

While a divorce involving an estate of this magnitude will be expensive, the multi-million dollar amount order to be paid up front was levied because Mr. Trafalent has proven to be extremely angry and litigious since the couple first filed for divorce in 2015. The judge agreed with this analysis and deemed that an initial $600,000 was necessary in 2017 and a subsequent $3.5 million in 2018 for the reasonable and necessary costs of his wife's attorneys and experts.  

Priorities in order?

Very few couples have the amount of wealth of the Trafalents, who can afford to stay in court for a long time, but couples of more modest means are often best served if they can sort matters out in a less confrontational way. The up-side of doing so is saving money to put towards running a second home or paying for college tuition down the line. There is no mention in one story about the impact this sort of acrimony has upon the couple's three children, but child psychologists generally agree that a healthy and civil divorce is better for the children.

It is always recommended that a parent's rights be protected through guidance from an attorney. One of the things that the right attorney can do is help avoid the expense of unnecessary litigation while also ensuring that the family unit as a whole is considered.  A consultation with an experienced Board-certified Family Law expert attorney could be a wise investment when reviewing your legal options in your case.

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