Though Donald Trump is getting all of the press these days, it was not too long ago that another divorced billionaire was in the headlines. T. Boone Pickens, the oil magnate and proponent of windfarms and use of natural gas vehicles, also happens to have used the collaborative divorce process to separate from his former spouse. And, according to Pickens, collaborative divorce saved him millions.
From the Dallas Business Journal:
Billionaire T. Boone Pickens is clearly a man who knows a good deal when he sees one.
That’s why he used a collaborative divorce approach in his recent parting of ways from his fourth wife, Madeleine.
Pickens told a room full of lawyers about his experience Friday during a lunchtime panel in Dallas.
The State Bar of Texas didn’t let me into the room for his talk, saying it was a paid, private event, but I was able to grab a couple of comments from Pickens on the way out of the Hotel Palomar.
The collaborative approach saves both money and emotional wear and tear on families, the energy tycoon told me.
“Collaborative law keeps everything on a high level, and everybody cooperating,” Pickens said.
I asked him how much the collaborative approach saved him?
“Money?” he deadpanned. “About $100 million.”
He cracked a smile and revised his answer to “several millions.”
Though each collaborative case is different, I have found that collaborative divorce as used here in Florida can save families a tremendous amount of money compared to litigated divorces, as the focus of the attorneys and the parties is solely on helping the parties reach an agreement that is acceptable to both. The attorneys are contractually barred from wasting any time, money, or resources on preparing for or fighting in court.
Discussions are had in private conference rooms rather than in public courtrooms, and families are treated as families rather than as “opposing parties.” Attorneys are solution-oriented rather than attack dogs, focus is placed on the future rather than the arguments of the past.
Attorney Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group, and is a member of the research committee of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.