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Divorcing for Artists and Entrepreneurs: Don’t Wait, Mediate your Prenup or Divorce

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.

In a couple of recent high profile cases, the right of an ex-spouse to the proceeds of creative work has come under scrutiny. When Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, recently got divorced, his wife claimed that the projects he was working on — a children’s symphony and books, and an upcoming TV series — were not disclosed by the author as marital assets. And in another recent case that resurrected a past divorce, the intellectual property was not art or fiction, but Google’s original code, written by Google’s third founder. His ex-wife claims their financial advisor was acting against her best interests when the divorce was worked out, as she received no share of potential earnings.

Putting a Price on an Idea or Dream

It can be difficult to estimate the value of creative or scientific work. At the beginning stages, the project might even just be a playful experiment. On the other hand, already established entertainers, scientists, artists and entrepreneur might be able to put a more concrete price on their earnings. Either way, ignoring the value of creative projects in your divorce is recipe for conflict.

The confusion is added to by the nebulous nature of creative projects. Many people may feel that a divorcing spouse doesn’t have a right to creative work that was brewing before the marriage or towards the end of the marriage. Even if your calculation seems fair to you however, it is likely that your spouse won’t see it the same way. To save time, money and adverse publicity the best route is to mediate.

To illustrate why it’s best to negotiate with your spouse rather than shutting them out of your decisions, Dan Brown has claimed his ex has retaliated by sharing details of his lifestyle and affairs during the marriage. Some say there’s no bad publicity, but Dan Brown’s ex’s portrayal of his lifestyle and his infidelity is hurting his image as a children’s author and composer.

The other huge advantage of mediation if you are an artist, entertainer or entrepreneur in the public eye is that it is completely private and confidential. The mediators at BCS are highly skilled in conflict resolution and have multi-level expertise  – legal, financial and psychoanalytical – that can free your divorce of the drama that can lead to unwanted publicity. We use tried and tested conflict resolution methodology including game theory, which can help you come to terms with the division of complex or speculative assets. Even if your ex does decide to speak to the press about your marriage, you can be assured that your mediation remains private, and can even negotiate with your spouse about what details you want to disclose.

Who We Are and How We Can Help

We are caring, well-educated mediators who are skilled in applied financial mathematics, the law psychoanalysis, and game theory. We strive to efficiently comprehend your situation and its opportunities for sustainable and agreeable resolution. This may include a review of your parenting plan, spousal support calculations, community property equalization, settlement agreement, and all other aspects of your case. We can either confidentially present you with a private analysis, or mediate the conflict with both of you until resolved. Any resolution you come to will be informed by a deeper analysis of the conflict that can be psychoanalytic and/or more financially-focused. Conflict analysis can result in a more optimized understanding of the net community property, which adds value to the overall estate, benefiting you both. The sooner you can resolve your conflict, the sooner you can begin to craft a sustainable future for you and your children. Our specially trained divorce mediator-accountants can also help reveal and investigate the proven financial facts of a divorce to make a full financial appraisal of your divorce and to suggest creative solutions for financial planning after divorce. Our high-level divorce mediation services are tailored to the needs of people with complex lives or divorces that may be difficult or protracted. We can intervene to break litigation deadlocks when divorces are already underway. We work with individuals from several cultures and countries, and can help with national and international relocation issues associated with divorce. Our remote mediations are safe, socially distant and completely confidential, secured by two private servers. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.

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