• Divorce Confidential by Gerald Nissenbaum

    I received a copy of DC from a friend, as I was recently divorced and she thought it would give me an insight to just how bad a divorce could actually be, and therefore mine wasnít such a bad one. The cover promised all the glitz and glammer of the rich and famous divorces so wanting to see how dirty and juicy it could really get, I delved right in. The book is split into 5 parts, starting from the authorís background and legal career development, through to cases he worked on and finally to his own advice for divorces in part 5.

    From the old man who marries a ex hooker done jail time con artist who ends up robbing him blind twice, he dies during the divorce proceedings leaving her a scheming grieving widow who only ends up with $150k to the wife who received a more than healthy divorce settlement that would have kept her comfortable for the rest of her time, but she had to try and get even with her ex, by whispering in his bosses ear that he wasnít such a nice guy, leading to him losing his job and all the perks and pay that went with it. She was warned by the author that 50% of £0 is £0 but ended up with £0 anyways.

    The chapter on the kids in a divorce is an eye opener. For one couple harry and Loretta, she ends up ransoming her access to her kids for a couple of house and a nice round sum of $3 million. One German father Hans, takes pictures of his two boys that the ex wife claims are inappropriate but proves to his lawyer they were taken in fun and fights across borders for custody of his. The wife uses all means, mental and physical and legal available to her to try and wear him down, including kidnapping the kids but finally loses them completely.

    Definitely enjoyable are the couple of chapters on the lengths that warring couples have gone too to hide money and assets, which will either have you shaking your heads in disbelief at how far someone will go to get a bigger slice of the divorce pie, or wishing you had thought of that yourself. The resounding message in this section of the book is that the more the other half knows of your secret and illegal dealings, the less leverage you have when it comes to them asking for half of it. Youíll be saying out loud ď it serves you rightĒ when the couples who have lied on their IRS forms, are having to pay out the true value of their estates rather than the fraudulent values declared all to try and stave off a criminal investigation.

    Overall the author manages to bring to life the characters heís dealt with and the emotions of each divorce he covers, but for me itís just a collection of short stories bound together by one common factor, a messy divorce. Itís too Americanised to be anything other than an antidote for someone who has undergone a divorce and it makes for a fun read.

    Itís written neither from a manís or womenís perspective and in a few places seems to have lost its way a little. However, if youíve had a simple quick one then youíll be left thanking the stars it wasnít a whole lot worse, if you had a messy protracted drawn out battle youíll be comparing notes with how much more time and money you would have expended had you lived in America and gone through the same process.

    Youíd be surprised at some of the things people will do, even in America, and ultimately the combination of money, wanting more of it, and wanting to give away less to a warring ex spouse is definitely worth a read!

    3 Ms Winos