Client Snapshot

The client was in a high-profile divorce from her husband who had broad investments in a variety of businesses and commercial real estate holdings.

Situation and Outcome

The client came to Wescott through Duane Morris LLP’s Tax Accounting Department, by way of divorce counsel.  Wescott specifically was engaged in a fee-based relationship to supplement the Tax Department’s forensic accounting and discovery by providing litigation support and assistance in drafting the eventual divorce settlement.

Wescott realized the situation was as exceedingly complex as the divorce was contentious.  As a center of influence, Wescott brought in and relied on other fiduciary experts who became integral to the devising and outcome of the structured alimony settlement so as to best serve the woman’s lifestyle and short- and long-term tax positions.

In the end, the sides negotiated and agreed to a multiple lump-sum settlement to be paid out over seven years.  It was important to plan and disclaim sufficiently to ensure those payments would continue should the ex-husband, who suffered numerous health issues, die before the last payment was made.

The husband died one year into the agreement.  Wescott, which by now was the woman’s financial advisor, renegotiated the settlement agreement with those handling the ex-husband’s estate.  Because his assets were illiquid, a new payment structure was created.

Lessons Learned

Wescott knows the complex and highly emotional situations presented with high-net-worth divorces.  The team had to both ensure the client’s financial interests were protected, while also keeping in mind the devastating emotional toll any divorce can take.