The acrimonious and expensive divorce of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his wife Judith has been making headlines for more than a year. It seemed like the two would never be able to agree on how to divide their wealth. However, according to Mrs. Giuliani’s attorney, they finally have done so.
The attorney released a statement recently stating, “The parties resolved their divorce…along with all issues concerning support, assets and any other claims. They wish each other the best of luck in the future.”
Those familiar with the couple’s various outbursts in court during their hearings may be skeptical about that last part. However, the settlement means they avoid the divorce trial that was set to begin next year in Manhattan. Even a State Supreme Court justice who presided over an appearance by the two last year said, “It is beyond me why either party in this case would have an interest in having all of this done publicly.”
Many people may agree. As one attorney known for representing celebrities said, the settlement is “great for her, and I think it is smart for him, he has enough problems. If I were Judith, I certainly would take the money and run. He’s got plenty of it, but who knows what his future looks like.”
He’s referring to Giuliani’s legal problems stemming from his work as a personal attorney. He’s currently under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) office he once led, and two men he’s been closely associated with are facing charges for making illegal campaign contributions.
Mrs. Giuliani alleged that her estranged husband was working without pay to lower his reported income and reduce the amount of alimony he’d have to pay. She claimed he’d made millions of dollars in the years since he was mayor and that he could afford to pay her more than the $42,000 per month that she was currently receiving.
While most divorcing couples can’t relate to the Giulianis’ lavish lifestyle, they can likely benefit from something else the justice said to the couple: Settling privately “would treat their relationship and marriage with more respect” than publicly airing their “dirty laundry.” It’s not always possible to avoid a litigated divorce. However, when it is, you can save time, money and stress — and publicity — by doing so.