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Gold digger or valued business contributor? And other questions …

As we prominently note on our family law website at the Wellesley Law Offices of Lisa A. Ruggieri, P.C., and have further reinforced in a number of past blog posts, there cannot logically be a so-called "boilerplate" process for every divorce.

In a nutshell, every divorce is different, with flatly unique characteristics and considerations.

A proven family law attorney is well attuned to that reality, and proceeds accordingly. Some divorces can be resolved in a comparatively civil manner, through mediation or an alternative process that avoids the formal adversarialism centrally marked by courtroom-directed litigation.

In other cases, well … .

One such "other" case, which many of our readers might find broadly instructive on several points, is currently playing out in an Illinois courtroom, where a matter of fundamental importance concerns a wife's status during a long-tenured marriage.

The couple executed a prenuptial agreement before they wed, which is of core importance in the acrimonious trial that is now underway. The document stated that maintenance payments to the wife would be negotiable if the marriage went beyond seven years.

In fact, the union endured for approximately a quarter of a century. The ex-wife presently receives about $66,000 in monthly support payments from her husband, who commands significant wealth as a top-tier business magnate in the health care industry. She wants that amount materially modified, to more than $400,000 monthly.

Her former spouse's attorney is seeking to cast her as, essentially, a gold digger who was merely preoccupied with a lavish social life during marriage.

Conversely, she contends that she played an active and meaningful role in the couple's many businesses, being a valued confidante by her ex-partner. Testimony to that effect has been offered in court, and it is noteworthy for being admitted as an admission by her former husband's legal counsel.

It is often the case that truly high-asset divorce cases cannot be quickly and amicably settled outside the courtroom.

Put another way: Some divorces inevitably must end up seeking resolution through the formal adversarialism attendant with a trial.

A proven family law attorney who has represented and promoted the best interests of a diverse clientele in divorce matters will bring acumen and well-considered strategies to every case, regardless of whether it can ultimately be resolved through a mediated settlement or must be formally litigated.

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