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Santa Clara Family Attorneys Examine the Lifestyles of the Rich and Unfaithful

They say that money cannot buy happiness. Yet, to those who desire luxurious material goods, the pricey homes, manicured lawns, and luxury automobiles nestled among the rolling hills of Palo Alto and the tree-lined streets of San Jose’s Rose Garden District symbolize a level of comfort highly coveted by the average American. Nevertheless, while a life steeped in wealth may seem intriguing and desirable to many, a new report published by Forbes Magazine today indicates that spending power does not equal staying power when it comes to moneyed marriages. According to the study, conducted by Connecticut firm Prince and Associates, nearly 50% of America’s wealthiest citizens indicate that they are stuck in unhappy marriages, and over 50% of those surveyed report that they have been or are currently involved in an extramarital affair. It comes as no surprise to our family law attorneys in Santa Clara County that one third of the individuals surveyed for the study were examining divorce as an option.
In the experience of family attorneys in Monterey County or Santa Clara County, where there are many wealthy residents, divorce is a financially intimidating prospect, but not an impossibility. If a person is in an irretrievably broken marriage, it is better to research divorce as a solution than to give up and exist in a miserable or unfaithful relationship.

However, it appears that wealthy individuals who are dissatisfied with their marriages do not necessarily go through with the divorces they dream about, and that the prime motivation for remaining in an unhappy marriage is financial. “Divorce itself is a businessman’s biggest deal,” remarked celebrity divorce attorney Raoul Felder. “He’s going to lose half he has.” As Santa Clara County, Alameda County, and Monterey County divorce lawyers are well-aware, individuals with sizeable assets stand to lose a great deal if a divorce is not settled in their favor, especially if these assets were acquired after the wedding vows were taken. Although attorney Felder refers to businessmen in his statement about the financial pitfalls of divorce, businesswomen are equally implicated on this issue. 51% of female breadwinners cited business issues as their main obstacle to seeking a divorce, with legal costs as the second biggest concern (42.8%). Surprisingly, only 14% of the women surveyed cited emotional damage to the children as the primary obstacle.
So what do those in the highest tax brackets do with their unhappy marriages, if they are too afraid to get divorced? Apparently, they horde money. Over half of the women who responded to the survey (56%) revealed that they had hidden or protected certain assets, and 36% of the men indicated that they had done the same. Additionally, more money seems to equal less security about the future of one’s marriage-respondents with a net worth of over $10 million disclosed that assets had been hidden. This behavior may be due to the lack of prenuptial agreements among America’s rich. Surprisingly, only 5.8% of those worth over $1 million, and 11% of those worth over $10 million had a prenup in place.