Since I have been practicing over 35 years I have had an amazing array
of clients from nannies to nobility. Regardless of a client’s position
in life the 3 P’s of Mediation is appealing to all - Positive, Productive,
About six months ago a young man contacted me for a consultation. It turned
out he was British nobility. Although he lived primarily in England, his
wife had lived in New York and he decided to get a divorce in New York
because the laws were more favorable to him.
She was a well-known actress, and her husband was fed-up with what he called
her "financial excesses." Their homes were decorated by celebrated
designers. Their sheets were Frette and their dishes Versace. These luxuries
were more her taste than his.
He owned a village in England and a stable of horses. His time was spent
playing Polo, and riding to hounds. They did not have a prenuptial agreement,
so everything had to be worked out from scratch.
Since he was a major landowner in England, and had inherited the estates
from his father, all of that was his separate property. She had accumulated
some money before the marriage which was to remain hers. The issue was
the assets they had accumulated together during their twelve year marriage.
This consisted of significant investment accounts in various tax havens,
several businesses, six homes in Europe, and a gulfstream jet. This, they
proceeded to fight about vehemently. Fortunately for them, at this point,
they had no children.
As is standard in these cases, the wife initially wanted to hire a lawyer.
The husband was fascinated by what he heard during his consultation with
me about my unique meditation process, and he was eager to share the mediation
process with her.
Honestly, at first I wasn’t sure mediation would work for them. They
were fighting a lot. I really had to keep them focused once she agreed
to try mediation. The wife was super angry, especially because she suspected
her husband was interested in rekindling a relationship with his teenage
sweetheart, also of British nobility. She shared her suspicion with me
during one our individual mediation sessions. It turned out not to be
true, but for a time it fueled her wrath and almost derailed the mediation process.
But as we progressed, and they settled in to the rhythm of my mediation
process, the anger subsided and they were able to engage in productive
conversations, and make thoughtful decisions.
The husband was surprisingly generous. The wife, although somewhat successful
as an actress, had not contributed largely to their lifestyle.
It was important for them to consider mediation for many reasons but in
particular, it helped them keep their privacy while divorcing which could
have erupted in to front-page news if they had litigated their matter.
The final outcome was fair. The husband shared the properties with his
wife. The split of the assets was equitable. They made arrangements to
share the use of the jet. The wife received ample spousal support and
some of the businesses were sold and the proceeds split.
I just heard from the wife who shared some very exciting news with me.
Her career has finally taken off and she has been cast to be on a popular
show on Netflix.
There is life after divorce. The path you choose to get there can make
all the difference!
If you are thinking of divorce and have questions about mediation and how
it can help you, call me. We can explore together what is possible.
During the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic all our
FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS areconveniently conducted virtually to reduce risk and maintain safety!
Call me, New York Divorce Lawyer, Lois Brenner now to book your free consultation.
I look forward to speaking with you.
Stay Healthy & Safety!