High Profile Cases

Tiger and Elin trying to get it done privately

There is so much speculation about the impending Tiger v. Elin settlement, that it is hard to know what the agreement will be.  It seems Tiger wants Elin to keep things private and it looks like Elin will be compensated well for that.  But $750,000,000.00?  That seems like quite an overpayment and I imagine the settlement numbers will be much lower.  

But so what?  It is their business.  He earned the money and she is his wife and the mother of his children (paternity claims of others notwithstanding).  My point is that these two have shared things that no one else can fully understand or appreciate.  Any settlement is a compromise between two people where each obtains something they want.  Based on the public speculation and intermittent reports, it seems Tiger wants privacy and Elin wants financial security. What do those terms mean?  It is up to them.  Sure we can all speculate and say that she is overreaching or that he is overpaying (some say there is no amount he can pay for what he did, but many would feel that several million would be a good start if their spouse tried to purchase their forgiveness). 

But the real answer to what will the settlement be, is: whatever they choose.  They both have able counsel and will ultimately each get what they want or they will not reach an agreement.  Tiger can seemingly afford a luxurious settlement amount and Elin, with such financial security can likely be convinced to keep it all private. She has so far.  If it was truly all about vengeance, it seems she would have gone public by now.  So, good for each of them.  For working on it privately and for possibly resolving such a large division of assets rather quickly, efficiently and secretly. 

Tiger, D-Wade and Sandra Bullock

Isn’t it amazing how interested the press is in celebrity cases?  Thankfully it seems that in Tiger’s case and Sandra Bullock’s case, the parties and the lawyers are being tight lipped.  The same is true for Dwayne Wade, but given that he had to go to court, there has obviously been more coverage.  What we should all appreciate is that the privacy of these parties has been preserved, at least with respect to the specific details of their divorces.  Dwayne Wade’s divorce shows how litigation exposes their private lives.  It seems he (Dwayne Wade) had little choice given that his wife went through nine lawyers and skipped a court date or two.  But compliments to the Woods family and the Bullock/James family for not opening up the dispute to further public inspection and comment.  Just like any divorce, litigation should be a last, not first option. 

Why did Al and Tipper wait?

As a divorce lawyer, I could give you a thousand possible reasons. But what intrigues me is how much America is interested. While it may seem strange for a couple near or past retirement age to separate, in actuality it is very common. The pressures that often keep a couple together (young children, insufficient assets to support separate households, concern that the non working spouse will have to now work) are less present in older couples. There are thousands of people who consider or desire a divorce, but cannot and will not do it for fear of raising children in two separate homes or for fear of being left in a financially desperate condition. Once these people reach retirement age, retirement accounts may be accessible penalty free, the kids may live in other cities and all the reasons not to divorce may be gone. But the reason they considered and contemplated divorce often remains. Different views on life, different dreams and even different lifestyles may not only remain, but become more visible and relevant. Divorcing at age 50, 60, 70 or 80 is becoming more common and who are we to judge?