Eliot Spitzer and wife file high asset divorce

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When 26 years of marriage come to an end, you might expect emotional discussions and some contention in division of property. When that marriage ends after at least one incident of infidelity, most Florida residents would expect to see a bit of a courtroom fight. According to statements issued by Eliot Spitzer and his wife, there will be no celebrity drama attached to theirhigh asset divorce, which was filed recently.

The couple issued a joint statement following the filing of divorce paperwork. According to the statement, all issues have been resolved between the two and the divorce is uncontested. This is despite the fact that the divorce was marked contested by the court system.

There are facts in the marriage that would lead some spouses to attempt to get the most out of divorce proceedings. First, there is the wealth involved. Eliot Spitzer is worth a billion dollars. From 2011 through 2012, tax records indicate he made $5 million from real estate investments. He made several more million in television work and drew money from his engineering company.

Spitzer’s wife is not without her own worth, though. She is the successful head of an equity firm. Although she might not need Spitzer’s money, some might think she deserves a large cut of the pie. Six years ago, Spitzer resigned as governor of another state after a scandal involving a prostitute. Despite his public infidelity, Wall stood by him.

The divorce was filed in December, following at least six months of separation. During Spitzer’s failed run as controller, he never appeared at any function with his wife, leaving the media and public suspicious that trouble was brewing. The couple has kept their marriage as private as possible, and that includes the divorce.

According to reports, a deal was struck between the two, but no details have been released. That Spitzer and his wife can come to a civil agreement that allows both parties to move forward is a solid example for others. No matter what your level of wealth or past problems are, working together on property division or other legal issues may get you a more desirable result in the end.

Source: New York Daily News, “EXCLUSIVE: Eliot Spitzer and longtime wife Silda Wall file divorce papers” Barbara Ross, Brian Niemietz and Dareh Gregorian, Jan. 16, 2014

Wife of Florida congressman files for divorce

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When a couple decides to part ways it can be a painful and often complicated experience. It can be even more difficult if the couple is in the public eye or has a high asset valuation. Orlando readers may be interested to know that a local congressman and his wife will be splitting up.

The divorce petition was filed in Orlando on Jan. 6. The reason the congressman’s wife cited was that the marriage was “irretrievably broken.” It was not known whether the couple had been separated before the wife filed for divorce.

The couple has been married for 23 years. They are the parents of five children between the ages of 18 and 8. They are requesting privacy as they go through “a very difficult transition for everyone involved.”

The congressman is currently in his second term. His first term was abruptly ended when he was defeated in 2008. However, after a new district was created, he won back a congressional seat. Financially, the congressman suffered a serious setback when it was discovered that he had been defrauded of $18 million in an investment deal.

No other information was available regarding the petition filing, so it is unknown how much in spousal and child support the congressman’s wife will be seeking. The couple will also have to find a way to equitably divide their assets and create a visitation and custody agreement for the younger children. For anyone who is experiencing the stressful process of a divorce, seeking the counsel of an experienced legal professional can make the proceedings smoother and ensure the separation is as painless as possible and fair for everyone involved.

Source: Reuters, “Florida congressman’s wife seeks divorce” Barbara Liston, Jan. 07, 2014

White Stripes founder and former wife finalize divorce

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Deciding to end a marriage is not an easy decision, but it is a common occurrence. When a couple has children and is affluent, such as one with substantial business assets, it can take some time to ensure an equitable division between the spouses. Also, the issue of child custody and visitation has to be worked out. Orlando readers who might have been following one of the several high-profile divorces that have been ongoing might be interested to know one of the divorces has been finalized.

Musician and businessman Jack White and model and singer Karen Elson have finalized their divorce. The divorced was finalized in Nashville, the same place where the couple was married in 2005. Elson filed for divorce in 2012.

White will retain his business holdings, the majority of which are music-related and include The Raconteurs, the White Stripes, Dead Weather and his music label, Third Man Records. For White, this was most likely a key part of the asset division, since his career revolves around these ventures and to split them up between the couple could have been a financial setback for White. No other mention of asset distribution between the two was made.

Elson was named the primary residential parent for the couple’s two children. White will have the kids roughly 150 days a year. It wasn’t mentioned if this included school breaks, summer vacations or holidays, but for a noncustodial parent to receive that many days of visitation, it most likely does mean the couple will divide holidays and summer vacations between the children. A judge signed the decree on Nov. 26.

Dividing marital assets and deciding about the children is often a major obstacle for a divorcing couple. However, attaining advice from an experienced legal professional can ensure both parties receive an equitable settlement that is suitable for all parties involved.

Source: Huffington Post, “Jack White, Karen Elson Divorce Finalized” No author given, Dec. 12, 2013

Think you don’t need a prenup? Think again

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A lot of Orlando couples will get engaged his holiday season. After the glow of the proposal and acceptance wear off and the wedding planning begins, increasingly another discussion is taking place between engaged couples. What about a prenup?

Prenups are no longer the sole provinces of wealthy and high-profile couples. Now many people who are relatively young and not necessarily wealthy have them. In a recent survey, nearly two-thirds of divorce attorneys reported an increase in the number of prenups they have encountered in the past few years. By far, the main reason given for the agreement is “protection of separate property.”

Why get a prenup if you don’t have a tremendous amount of money or assets going into the marriage? For one thing, you may stand to inherit a good deal of money or property from your parents or other relatives. That could all end up being split with an ex-spouse.

If you are divorced or widowed and going into a new marriage, a prenup is highly recommended – particularly if you have children. Whether the marriage ends in death or divorce, you most likely want to ensure that your children get all or part of your estate, even if it’s just some sentimental family heirlooms.

Another advantage of writing a prenup is that it gets couples talking about finances – not just how they want to handle what they bring into the marriage, but what they earn and purchase afterwards. A prenup does not have to be solely about money. Some couples include a clause, for example, saying that they will get couples therapy before ending their marriage.

You may need to broach the subject with your intended spouse carefully if you are not sure how he or she will react. It’s not easy to tell someone you love and are committing to spend the rest of your life with that if it all goes south, you want to make sure he or she doesn’t get the vacation home on Fisher Island your great-aunt is leaving you.

An attorney can guide couples through the process of developing a prenup and help them discuss and decide on things they may not have considered. Then, once that’s out of the way, they can get on with the wedding planning.

Source: moneynews.com, “Three Things to Consider Before You Ask for a Prenup” No author given, Nov. 27, 2013

Possible correlation between divorce and accidental death

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When a marriage approaches a premature end, the time leading up to when the couple decides to end the marriage can be stressful, and stress can lead to a variety of medical conditions, from ulcers to heart attacks. But a recent study is providing information that seems to indicate that a person who has been through a divorce has a greater risk of falling victim of an accidental death.

The study, which followed 1.3 million Americans over the age of 18 who either survived or died in accidents 1996 to 2006, shows that a divorced person is twice as likely to die from a preventable cause, such as poisoning or fire than a married person. No explanation was given, but it could be the concept that two heads are better than one, so if two people are looking for hazards accidents could be more easily prevented than if just one person is looking out for themselves.

Interestingly enough, the same statistic holds true for single people. They are also twice as likely to die from a preventable cause than a married person. There was no different between married, divorced or single people who died from accidents out of their control, such as plane crashes.

Does this mean that two people should stay married even though they are miserable in order to prevent such accident from happening? No, but it does remind us that we need to be careful of the things we do and of the things around us.

In a divorce it is important to get back to a sense of normalcy as soon as possible. For anyone who is going through a divorce, speaking with a legal professional can help the person protect their rights to assets or secure alimony or child support so their new lives can begin on a positive note.

Source: My Fox Austin, “Divorce may raise risk of accidental death” No author given, Nov. 12, 2013

Kim Rothstein files for divorce

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Filing for divorce is a stressful experience, and many couples retreat from their personal life while they go through the process. However, for a high-profile couple, this is not always possible. Our Orlando readers may be interested to know that one half of a couple that has frequently been in the news has filed for divorce.

Kim Rothstein, wife of Scott Rothstein, who is serving a jail sentence in an undisclosed location, has filed for divorce. Court records state that she cites mental and physical abuse as reasons for the filing. She also claims that her husband kept her in the dark about his financial scheme and that he guarded every move she made, essentially controlling every aspect of her life.

This includes, according to her filing, her involvement in hiding assets from federal authorities. She claims that it was her husband that told her to hide $1 million in jewelry and assets and that from his secret prison location, he instructed her how to sell the assets and hide the money. She stated that when she realized that she was in serious legal trouble for participating, she admitted everything to the authorities and helped them capture several others who were part of the scheme.

Scott Rothstein is currently serving a 50-year sentence for being the mastermind behind the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. His location is unknown because he has been working with authorities to help convict others in hope of taking time off his own sentence. For her part in hiding of assets, Ms. Rothstein is facing a jail sentence of three to four years, but could be sentenced to less time since she did cooperate with authorities.

Although many marriages end in divorce, most don’t include the complications that this particular marriage had. However, anyone who has decided to end their marriage should speak to a legal representative who is experienced in handling divorces so a person’s assets can be protected.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Kim Rothstein files for divorce, says it was Scott’s idea to hide jewelry” Paula McMahon, Nov. 08, 2013

Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr split after 3 years of marriage

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When a couple decides to go their separate ways, it is often a sad and painful period in each person’s life. During this time, it would be easy for one of the other spouse to become angry or bitter, and lash out at the other spouse. The animosity can increase dramatically if children are involved, and if there are significant assets involved. As if all that isn’t enough to deal with, for ahigh-profile couple, much of the divorce proceedings play out in the public eye.

But even with all those issues, some couples stay determined to keep the breakup as amicable as possible. Thus is the case with Orlando Bloom and his wife, Miranda Kerr. After three years of marriage, the couple released a joint statement announcing their separation and impending divorce. The couple has a two-year-old son.

Realizing that the two are forever tied to each other because of their son, the “Lord of the Rings” star and the Victoria Secret model have chosen to focus on their friendship and love of their son. The pair married in July, 2010, but according to sources, they have been separated for several months.

Choosing to be amicable during their divorce proceeding is a very wise move. Creating animosity will just cause unnecessary pain for everyone involved, including the child. Parents who decide to end their marriages must ensure that both parents are as involved with their children’s lives as possible, since that is only fair to the child.

For those who are considering a divorce or who are in the process and want to ensure their rights are protected regarding alimony, child support or visitation, speaking with a legal professional experienced in family law can help.

Source: People.com, “Orlando Bloom Speaks Out About Miranda Kerr Split” Sheila Cosgrove Baylis, Oct. 31, 2013

Stay or get a gray divorce?

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The rate of divorce is rising for people over the age of 50. “Gray divorces” don’t come with the common issues that a younger couple might have to deal with, such as child support and visitation, but they do have some special issues, and these areas of dispute can complicate a situation even more and cause further acrimony.

Older couples have seen their share of triumphs and tragedies. They’ve raised children, had careers and possibly wrestled with financial hardship. By the time they reach the retirement years, one would think it would be clear sailing. Or time to relax on the porch. But therein lies part of the problem: If one half of the couple wants to literally sail off into the sunset on a cruise, while the other wants to enjoy the golden years rocking the days away at home, conflict can arise, and in some cases, a divorce is the end result.

The one thing most retired couples can agree on is that they want to enjoy the years after they’ve worked and raised their children. But most couples do not discuss how they want to spend their retirement years while they are still working, so when it comes time to retire, they discover they are not on the same page. Discussing your retirement desires and dreams ahead of time can stave off the shock of realizing that you and your spouse have completely different retirement goals.

There’s also the financial aspect. Conflict can arise if one spouse wants to spend their retirement money, but the other wants to leave something behind for the kids. Also, if one half of the couple always handled the finances, the other half might not be aware how well they can live during retirement. Even with wealthy couples, one spouse might not know their financial standing. Finding out that a retirement dream is or is not attainable can cause additional stress on a relationship, so it is important that the couple be completely aware of the financial situation. For those who find themselves still contemplating a divorce, understanding their legal options when it comes to divorce can help make their decision clearer.

Source: Reuters, “Stern Advice – Till death (not retirement) do us part” Linda Stern, Oct. 09, 2013

Try working together to make your divorce less expensive

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Spouses that have spent more than a handful of years together often find themselves in heated divorces because of what they have. She wants the house, he wants the car, and neither of them can agree on anything. Married couples in Orlando, Florida, are often surprised to find out how much they own together, even though they have let years go by and have spent all of that time buying this and collecting that. Some have purchased real estate; others own businesses that have been developing since the beginning or possibly even before the marriage. Whatever the property is, their values are often the source of serious contention in a high asset divorce.

This isn’t how it has to be, though. A couple can choose to work together during the split to make sure that both parties have what they need to survive and adapt to life without one another. One of the avenues that a couple can use to achieve this is the collaborative process. The name of the process speaks for itself: collaboration. Former couples work on a divorce settlement that is adequate for both of them with the help of attorneys, financial planners and other experts. As long as the couple chooses not to head to court, these professionals can help the spouses come to a mutual agreement instead of fighting it out through litigation.

Choosing this route often leaves the former couple happier for a number of reasons. First, the process is usually less time-consuming than a litigated divorce. Second, the ex-spouses are often more satisfied with the outcome since they have control of the provisions of the agreement, rather than a third-party judge who has no personal involvement with the relationship. In some cases, couples who have chosen collaborative divorce have found that there is no arguing at all. This means the divorce is less stressful and the couple can part as amicably as possible, given the circumstances.

Source: Tampa Tribune, “Kinder, gentler divorces take the bite out of break-ups” Ray Reyes, Sep. 15, 2013

Empty nests likely major contributor to gray divorce

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It’s the end of summer and for many parents in Orlando, Florida, that means helping their children move off to college to begin a life outside of the nest. Many older couples have found themselves struggling with an empty nest, a situation that can lead to divorce if it goes unaddressed. There are ways to work to save such marriages from dissolving but even so, one in four divorces involves a person who is 50 or older. This is an age that many parents are either already at or are approaching when their children go off to college. When divorces occurs, this is known as gray divorce.

In order to combat an increasing rate of gray divorce – a jump from one in ten divorced individuals in 1990 to the aforementioned one-in-four figure from 2009 – experts have many suggestions about marriage as the children come of age. Some suggest becoming curious about your partner again. It is likely that at this point in the relationship, you have spent well over a decade together and may have convinced yourself that you know everything about your spouse. This is likely not the case as each day brings with it new things. This is why becoming curious and establishing a daily routine of asking each other about your days is important. Basically, it boils down to being mindful of the relationship and not taking it for granted.

Instilling such habits before the children fly away from the nest can help prevent a high asset divorce from occurring. Even though you may not think you have much wealth, a number of assets are often intermingled between spouses who have been together for more than a decade. With children out of the home in most gray divorces, custody is generally not an issue. Instead, the focus will be on property and any accounts that contain wealth, especially those pertaining to retirement.

Source: MPR News, “How parents can adjust to an empty nest, avoid ‘gray divorce’” No author given, Aug. 27, 2013