FLORIDA: Lisa Leder on why being a cougar has nothing to do with getting half the marital assets when you divorce

She’s an alleged cougar who “went off the reservation” (George David quote about his wife Marie Douglas and I thought it was really original so I’m using it now), and now some people feel that Lisa Leder should not get half the marital assets as a divorce settlement from her mogul husband, Marc Leder, equity partner at the Boca Raton private equity outfit Sun Capital Partners.

The thing that lay people need to understand is, in most states (if not all) fault has nothing to do with equitable distribution. Meaning even if one or both partners cheat, it will not affect how much money they get as a settlement. In New York, that is the general rule, unless their conduct “shocks the conscience” in which case the judge would order a distribution scheme that would basically rebalance the equities between the parties (which is a fancy way of saying how much money the “shocking” spouse got could be adversely affected).

Even assuming Lisa did go off the reservation with the 23 year old tennis player (and I strongly doubt she  would do anything so untoward), she still deserves half the marital assets. Cause that is pretty much the law. Especially when, as here, one is dealing with a long term marriage. (The Leders have been married for over two decades and they are only in their forties).

The fact is, Lisa bore her husband not one, not two but three heirs. That’s work. Plus, she hosted his parties, invested in political candidates and attended many galas in Palm Beach where everybody knew she was the missus. Thus, she had to represent. That’s work. Plus, even with nannies and housekeepers and gardeners, it takes work to keep all the help synchronized and productive and earning their keep. While Marc was busy acquiring companies like it was going out of style, it was Lisa who attended to those things. That’s work. And it has value. Plus, there was the issue of consortium. Even assuming Lisa did go off the reservation from time to time, I am sure she gave Marc a piece on occasion. That has economic value when you divorce. No, I’m very serious. Consortium has value. I don’t remember the case that says that, but it says that….now analyze that, I dare you!

What else? Well, people assume that the wives of affluent tycoons don’t work and don’t contribute anything to the business. But a lot of times, these women advise their men, and based on that advice, the man acts and it may be a benefit to him financially. Or she may have actually worked like Ruth Madoff did. Ruth had an office in Bernie’s firm. She was the bookkeeper at one point. And that woman Michelle Schrenker. Remember her? She helped her husband Marcus (remember the guy who faked his death in the plane earlier this year?) Lisa could very well have contributed to the company by actually working in some capacity for Marc and his partner. That has value.

Plus, she got married so young that I am sure she gave up educational opportunities to be his wife (probably at his urging). A lot of these trophy wives forego their own education and work opportunities to be there for their husbands, to raise their kids. That has value.

Look, there are so many things over the course of a 22 year marriage that can be monetized and that would entitle Lisa to half those assets. I’m sure she did a lot more than flirt with the 23 year old tennis “manny”, assuming she even did in the first place. And, it has value (the “things over the course of the 22 years of marriage” I mean.)

But yea. If she did give the 23 year old a piece of her marital body parts, that would definitely make her a cougar. An adulterous cougar at that….I wonder if Marc was faithful for all 22 years of marriage? Think he’s ever gone off the reservation? (But that’s no big deal, right?) I wonder if he was devastated by the infidelity of his wife nonetheless? And by the way, what is the male equivalent of a cougar? I mean, what would you call a guy like say, George David who likes women up to 30 years younger? Was Marc anything like George? Oh wait. Marc is 46. 30 years younger is….16! OMG.

More on the Leder Divorce here: http://www.divorcesaloon.com/index.php?s=Leder

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