I joined The Debbie Nigro Show to discusss how high net worth divorces should stay low key. In divorce, you only get one shot to get it right. Listen to the podcast below:
Or Regret It.
Whatever “It” is for you.
I don’t know many people who get married to get divorced. (Well maybe a few)
On the subject of ‘High Net Worth Divorces’ today you’ve probably noticed they can get ugly, embarrassing and downright nasty.
Nationally Acclaimed Divorce Financial Expert Lili Vasileff will tell you, that being in the public eye with a messy divorce endangers sustainability of any potential agreement, threatens well-being of family, and eats up your resources.
Unless of course you’re ‘high net worth divorcee’ Mackenzie Scott, former wife of Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos, now worth 57 Billion dollars and giving away money. She just gave $2.7 billion to 286 organizations around the U.S. By Forbes’ estimate, she gave away nearly $6 billion in 2020 to 500 organizations. She’s also signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give away half of her fortune to charitable causes during her lifetime, or after her death. For this MacKenzie Scott gets a Huge High Five!
‘Low Fives’ ( are there such things?) are going out however to some ‘high net worth’ divorce stories I happened to catch in the news this week. Specifically in the NY Post, and the articles which I read I photographed below. These divorce stories are ugly, embarrassing and down right nasty. The kind of divorces that involve insane amounts of money that people (like me obviously) can’t stop reading about. The kind of divorces most wealthy people try and avoid like…Covid.
Divorce Financial Expert Lili Vasileff says, “These nasty high conflict divorces are thankfully the aberration not the normal standard. What draws people to them is them is the dollars that flash across the screen. After 30 years of handling thousands of divorce cases of high net worth individuals, I can tell you that they are ‘managed’ successfully with discretion, integrity and privacy.”
“You will never see the divorce I’m working on hit the tabloids. The leaks of these stories are done by one of the parties inside who’s vindictive – no question about it because they’re not getting justice for their emotions”
High Net Worth Divorces Should Stay Low Key
Lili Vasileff explains, “What makes high net worth divorce cases different is that there’s a high risk of publicizing wealth and that means that you put your family in a very vulnerable position. Your kids are vulnerable because people are going to know how much you’re worth, you’ve just exposed the contents of your home, all that kind of stuff, and if you own businesses or collectibles. Is that anyone’s business but yours? You really need a trustworthy advocate who is used to this environment, as I am, who works with individuals with that sense of trust that all remains private to be negotiated until its concluded.”
Lili explains as a Divorce Financial Expert she typically works privately with clients before they even start with an attorney. “When you file divorce it becomes public. There’s a public filing any tabloid reporter can go find, the very basic motions, the case details, who the players are, etc. Seasoned divorce financial experts make sure everything is and stays confidential. It never hits the court system until its over. And that’s huge.”
She adds, “When your in a high net worth case you have a lot of complicated finances. Chances are one party vs the other is less knowledgeable and doesn’t have the skills, resources or access to those professionals that manage these kinds of valuable assets, in order to become educated. So you need that whole ‘step up’ to understand what’s at stake, to get a roadmap, of really of what your life looks like as a snapshot from a financial perspective.”
Seeking out an attorney is NOT the first move you should make if your headed for a high net worth divorce. The first thing you should do is seek out a divorce financial expert.
“You’re working with an attorney who’s not a financial expert, says Lili. To understand what exists, what it costs, what is required to sustain those assets in the future, or, what could be transferable or liquidated now, is like Wow! You just grabbed the gold ring of becoming empowered at a negotiation table.”
Wondering if there are a lot of ‘high net worth divorce blindsides’?
Lili shares: “Unless parties have been separated for a period of time, it’s very common that one client is much more prepared to trigger the divorce button than the other. And the other, as you may know, has then more of an emotional gap to deal with to come up to speed to say: “I guess this is the way it’s going to go”. Because once a person files for divorce, there is nothing your can do to stop it.”
Though a gender friendly, compassionate, financial advocate, Lili does say most of the clients who seek out her advice are women. 90% women in fact. ‘Late life divorce’ she says is on the increase, and more often than not it’s these women who tend to be less knowledgeable and have less experience managing assets for the longer term.
“Most divorces you got a one shot deal to get it right.”
“You’ve got to know your stuff, she says. You’ve got to negotiate with a sense of confidence and knowledge to make fully informed and good decisions because they last for the long term.”
Lili Vasileff, The Wealth Protection Expert, is a nationally recognized divorce financial specialist offering extensive interdisciplinary skills and knowledge in investments, divorce, mediation, marital agreements, and litigation support.