Lily Bradshaw was a thirty-something socialite based in New York City, married to a powerful financier. Twenty years ago, she met him at one of her shows, where she performed as prima ballerina. He sought her out backstage. As a classically trained ballerina, she had spent all of her teens and twenties traveling, dancing, and performing all around the world. She was familiar to being offered proposals from admirers, but John Black was different. He wasn’t too eager or forthcoming. He simply asked her for the address of the next theatre where her company would be performing at. For the next few weeks, he had lavish gifts delivered to her dressing room. It wasn’t long before she had fallen head over heals in love with him. John then asked her a serious question. He knew that her first love was ballet, but would she be willing to retire from ballet and settle down with him? He could offer her a life of luxurious comfort and financial stability. Lily’s medical bills were stacking up, he pointed out, and her tendonitis would only give her a few more golden years as a dancer. At first, she was taken aback. But maybe — she wondered — he had a point. The life of a touring ballerina was gruelling. She had spent almost two decades exhausting herself, pushing herself to every emotional, mental, and physical limit.
For the past year, John had been on his own rigorous travel schedule. He had been having a particularly prosperous year, closing deals all around the world. However, something was particularly strange. He kept telling Lily that he was having financial issues. Lily was no financier — she was a dancer — but this didn’t make any sense. How could John be taking so many business trips, presumably having his best year at work, and yet having issues keeping his bank account affloat?
Lily got dressed and put on her coat. She headed to the bank and asked to speak to her financial advisor. There, she discovered some shocking news: John had been secretly transferring money from the couple’s joint account to an account named “Marissa Heart” in five thousand dollar increments, every week. Had he been lying to her all of this time? Financial infidelity is a familiar term in the dictionary of divorce mediation. It refers to spending money, having credit, possessing secret funds, or incurring secret debt unbeknownst to one’s partner.
She had never heard of the name “Marissa Heart” before in her entire life, and called John demanding an explanation. He made a shocking confession: he had a fetish of spending exorbitant amounts of money in secrecy.
Lily was heartbroken and devastated to learn that the person she had been married to for over two decades turned out to be a complete stranger. But how could she leave? How could she afford litigation? After speaking to her friends, they recommended mediation. She quickly Googled “divorce mediation law in Orange County” and discovered that mediation is an alternative to traditional divorce, usually costing significantly less money, time, and energy. It is the facilitation of legal separation through a neutral third party, on mutually agreed upon terms.
If you are looking for an alternative to divorce litigation, we recommend the excellently reviewed McNamee Mediations.
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