Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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Wall Street exec to pay $4.1 million before trial begins

Anyone who has gone through divorce knows that it is never as easy or straightforward as it could be. Moreover, divorce involves many financial challenges for couples who have large and complicated estates. An extreme example of this is when an appellate court judge ordered hedge fund manager Remy Trafelet to pay $600,000 in 2017 and $3.5 million more in 2018 to his wife Lara as an interim fee while the divorce is litigated.

The reasoning behind requiring this money up front is the estimated cost of untangling the couple’s $200 million estate with its $150 million trust. The payments will cover the wife’s legal bills in what promises to be a long and litigious process – the couple filed for divorce in 2015 and Mr. Trafelet has taken what one story referred to as a “scorched earth” approach to the split.

More than just lawyers fee

The client always has final say on how contentious a fight they want in court or whether they want to find an alternative solution to litigation. Some issues that don’t change, however, are the details of going through these large estates to ensure that the division of assets is fair and equitable. In the case of the Trafelets, financial experts, accountants, experts in real estate, art and other areas will need to assess and value the estate.

Unique circumstances

Every divorce is as unique as the couple involved. Even by New York City standards, the $4.1 million is unprecedented, with a quarter of that amount being a more typical interim fee for estates of this size. Yet because of the contentious nature of the split, it is necessary to prepare for a long drawn out court battle, which can happen to anyone even if you would prefer it to be otherwise.

Whatever the unique circumstances in your divorce or family law issue, it is always a wise course of action to consult an attorney who has the experience, patience and skill for managing these complicated cases. This is often the best way to protect your rights and what is most important to you.

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