How to avoid looking like a gold digger to a divorce court

When 36 year old Swedish countess Marie Douglas David divorced her 66 year old husband UTC chairman George David earlier this year (proceedings are still going on, I believe) she always showed up to court under-dressed. She never flashed her diamonds, she did not wear fur, and she did not show up to court looking like a Zsa Zsa Gabor wannabe. She was simple, tasteful, understated and “innocent.” And you can tell from her press pictures that she presented herself as an “All American” girl who loved her husband but whose marriage failed due to irreconcilable differences. She managed to pull this off even though she asked the court for upwards of $50 K in spousal support and drew public ridicule for coming off as a “gold digger.”

That takes major skill to pull off, looking like an “innocent all American girl who just happens to be married to a multi-millionaire.” But Marie had good legal counsel, and they obviously advised her well. It’s incredible how much it matters what the client wears to court. People tend to forget that judges are just people. And some of them have biases and prejudices. And most make under $200K per year. Some would have trouble empathising with a seeming”gold-digger” who wanted more monthly support than they made in a whole year. It is natural. So it is important if you are very wealthy, to think about how you present yourself in court. “Gold diggers” have definitely fallen out of favor. Especially in this economy. And even if you are not a gold digger, public sentiment and repetition can make you one. So be careful.

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