Edra Blixseth on why billionaires should never get a do-it-yourself (“DIY”) divorce

BIG SKY, MONTANA

The last billionaire couple who attempted a DIY divorce (do it yourself) was Tim and Edra Blixseth but that just blew up and they wound up spending millions of dollars in legal fees just to clean up the mess. http://www.forbes.com/2008/08/15/blixseth-property-settlement-forbeslife-cx_kd_0815yellowstone.html

Edra has famously said that they sat with a bottle of wine and a yellow pad and divvied up their $1.5 billion dollar empire. But boy, did things go south after that. At issue was the gorgeous Yellowstone Ski and Golf Resort (the nation’s only private ski and golf resort), a couple of gulfstreams, some really fancy cars, and a family home in California and a few other items. In the end, Edra got Yellowstone, but the Blixseths definitely had a huge legal tug of war over it, I must say.

Edra said that they had agreed to divide up the assets but then Tim changed his mind about giving her her share, and then they got lawyers and she got exactly what they had agreed that she would get when they sat down with the wine and the yellow pad. I don’t know Tim’s side of the story since I have not read it anywhere (there’s no Google cache)

Edra also inherited about $375 million of debt. As part of their agreement she has to repay creditors for Yellowstone. Even with lawyers, I don’t know if that was the smartest way to go for her. Because some feel that the only way she will be able to repay is to sell Yellowstone. At a net loss.

I don’t think that most billionaires should even attempt a DIY divorce because money brings out the worse in people. It just does. It is a vice. Everybody knows that. The more money you have, the more compelling the argument to get yourself a good divorce practitioner.

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