Each divorce is as unique as the people involved. Some go smoothly with a fair and equitable arrangement, while others are more contentious. The Trafelets made the news recently when an appellate court judge in New York ordered hedge fund manager Remy Trafelet to pay $3.5 million in interim fees to his wife Lara. This is after $600,000 payment in 2017.
Divorces are often more expensive than people expect, but this large payment before the dispute is litigated is unprecedented even though the couple’s estate is valued at $200 million. There are several reasons why this happened, and they generally fall into two groups of issues.
Litigation costs more money
One recent article about the couple’s divorce referred to Remy Trafelet as taking a “scorched earth” approach to the divorce. The couple filed for divorce in 2015, and since then Mr. Trafelet has fought the process each step of the way. This prompted the judge to levy this large interim fee before the trial even begins. Normally an estate like this would have interim fees close to a million dollars.
High value estates are complicated
The couple’s $200 million estate includes a $150 million trust as well as wide array of assets, including business assets, real estate and even art. Accountants, financial experts, real estate experts and others properly value the couple’s marital assets. Asset valuation should be done with any large estate just to ensure that the arrangement is fair and equitable. All these experts cost money, but the large amount of money involved means that even the smallest miscalculation or mistake can cost millions. Experts confirm and reconfirm value of the estate.
Attorneys guide clients through this process
Family law and divorce attorneys can guide their clients through this legal, financial and emotional process. They represent clients in court and structure settlements, but those involved in high asset divorce also oversee the complicated process and manage a team needed to handle these types of cases, even keeping an eye out for unnecessary expenses. This will be the case for the Trafelets as well as others with complicated estates.