Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Many divorce lawyers are taking a beating during the recession. Not only are couples postponing divorce until their home values and stock-portfolios recover, but many who have filed for divorce and reached settlements are refusing to pay their legal bills, according to a friend who is a divorce attorney. But there are still a few couples whose matrimonial matters are recession proof.

A 36-year-old countess is demanding that her husband double her divorce settlement to $100 million as she hasn’t enough to cover weekly expenses of more than $53,000. Marie Douglas-David wants to tear up a postnuptial agreement with George David -– a former corporate bigwig who is 30 years her senior and worth an estimated $329 million. Under the agreement, which she claims he coerced her to sign, she would receive a mere $43 million. They were married for six years and had no children together. (George had previously divorced his wife, with whom he had three children.)

The Swedish countess, previously an investment banker, says she has no income and has listed her weekly expenses in a court document. These include $4,500 for clothes, $1,000 for hair and skin treatments, $1,500 for restaurants and entertainment, $8,000 for travel, $700 for limousine services, $2,209 for an assistant, $1,570 for horse care and $600 for flowers.

She is asking for nearly $100 million in cash and shares, plus about $130,000 a month in alimony payments. Her expenses include maintaining a Park Avenue apartment and three homes in Sweden.

In response, her husband lists weekly expenses totally $200,000.

Mr David’s lawyer, Anne Dranginis, accused Ms Douglas-David of nagging and hounding her husband with “extensive, long diatribes” over little things “like how he held his fork or how he drafted invitations”. She accused him of having an affair with a younger woman.

They shouldn't get divorced. They deserve each other.

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