New York Divorce Attorney with divorce advice for Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren Woods

Divorce Saloon speaks with a New York Divorce Attorney about the Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren Woods divorce:
Divorce Saloon: So what do you think Mr. Woods should do now that his wife has reportedly hired a divorce lawyer?
New York Divorce Attorney: He needs to get legal counsel for himself immediately. He can’t afford to let his stupidity in ruining his marriage get in the way of common sense right now. He needs a lawyer of his own. He needs counsel. He needs to face reality that his marriage is probably over, there is nothing that he can do and then he needs to start to cover his bases ASAP. This is not the time for guilt and nostalgia.
Divorce Saloon: So specifically what does he need to be doing?
New York Divorce Attorney: Well, he needs to sit with someone and discuss the issues in this case and, of course, he is someone  of considerable assets. He needs to be thinking about protecting his assets. And of course, think about his kids and what will happen to them.
Divorce Saloon: But won’t he come off as being crass and shameless by trying to protect his assets at this point?
New York Divorce Attorney: No, not at all. On the contrary, it will show that he is still functioning like a rational person. It is important that he is contrite and apologetic to his wife and family for his behavior. He should probably do a press conference on Christmas Day when people are otherwise distracted and say how sorry he is. But the legal consequences of his divorce are a different issue and must be addressed head on. He cannot allow the appearance and opinions of a public bent on getting the latest gossip to cloud his judgment at this time. He needs to focus on the reality that his marriage is over and that the monetary consequences will be astronomical. But there is astronomical and there is astronomical. It is going to come down to how quickly he buckles down, gets focused and starts to strategize to save his own skin. Divorce is definitely the ugly side of marriage. This is where its every man and woman for him and herself. Divorce is usually war. Love has nothing to do with it.
Divorce Saloon: What if they don’t have a prenup? A lot of people are saying they have a $300 million prenup. But other people are not sure they have one.
New York Divorce Attorney: I personally would be very surprised if they don’t have a prenuptial agreement. But stranger things have happened. If he doesn’t have one and the divorce is filed in California, then everything he made in the last 5 years is fair game. Elin will probably walk away with at least $300 million if not more. Let’s put it this way: she will walk away with about half of what he owns if the case is filed in California.
Divorce Saloon: And if it is filed in Florida?
New York Divorce Attorney: Well, he will still pay through the nose if there is no prenup. But she may not get half. This was not what we call a “long term marriage.” It was only 5 years  in length. Usually long term marriages are at least 10 years. So I don’t know that a court would find it was “fair” that she gets half. Sure, there is a value to her home-maker duties and it is heavily rewarded in equitable distribution states, especially in long marriages. And the court can look at the conduct of the parties during the marriage. Arguably, Tiger’s conduct could rise to the level of “shocking the conscience” and in New York, that standard is used to award more to the wronged spouse. So that in a case such as Elin and Tiger’s, even though it is of short duration marriage, she could still walk away with half if she has a really creative and cunning lawyer. Generally, though, the “shock the conscience” standard has been used in cases where domestic violence and criminal activity are involved. Be that as it may, I think that whether she files in Florida or California, Elin will make out ok in this divorce – with or without a prenup.
Divorce Saloon: Speaking of the prenup, what is the story with re-negotiating a prenup? Can Elin just demand that Tiger renegotiate the prenup?
New York Divorce Attorney: No, she cannot. A prenuptial agreement is a contract and the terms will stand if the original signing was done according to the mandates of the statute. No party can unilaterally demand a prenup be re-negotiated. Sure, they can mutually decide to re-negotiate  the agreement. They can even mutually decide to throw the whole thing out. But she can’t just beat him over the head and demand he re-negotiate it. No.
Divorce Saloon: Who should get custody?
New York Divorce Attorney: Oh, I have no idea. It will be up to the courts, obviously. I don’t know the facts of that relationship so I can’t say. But this idea that Tiger Woods will automatically lose custody is not necessarily correct. I read some of your posts and you are right. I also contributed an article about that on here. Custody is often the most litigated issue in a divorce, second only to the money issues. I don’t think that as a general rule, the adultery of any party will factor into the custody.
Divorce Saloon: That’s what we thought but-
New York Divorce Attorney: But I have heard rumors about domestic violence. That could be an issue. The standard for custody is the “best interest of the child.” The courts will determine who gets custody using that standard. It is likely going to be a very contentious issue.
Divorce Saloon: Do you think this case will go to trial?
New York Divorce Attorney: It could. It depends on how unreasonable Tiger thinks Elin and her attorneys are being. I am sure he wants this to go away more than anything. And he will pay through the nose to avoid a trial. But at this point, the dirty laundry for Tiger has been spilled. Elin has no more leverage there. The damage is done for Tiger. Possibly irreparably. But we don’t know Elin’s dirty laundry. And believe me, everybody has it. So it may be more of a risk for Elin to push this to a trial than it is for Tiger at this point. She may lose more in the jury of public opinion if certain things come out about her that people don’t know at this time. The one thing we know about marriage as divorce lawyers is that neither party is innocent. They both have issues. They both lie. They both are guilty of wrecking the marriage. Often equally so. But as far as using what has happened as leverage, that may have been possible before Jaimee Grubbs came out with the text messages. Now, everything is in the open, it may be better for Tiger than he realizes. He can pretty much call Elin’s bluff and let her go to trial trying to undo the prenup assuming there is one. In the end, she airs her dirty laundry, repeats his, but walks away with nothing extra, unless he wants to throw her a few extra bones just to make her go away – sort of the way George David did with his Swedish countess wife, Marie Douglas David.
Divorce Saloon: Wow. A lot to think about. Well, thank you for stopping by and keep us posted of the legal implications. You know you are welcome anytime.
New York Divorce Attorney:  Anytime. Thank you for having me. 
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