The people who make a killing from your failed marriage

EDGAR delves into the lucrative world of divorce.

Peter Iantorno June 18, 2015

Divorce. The very mention of the word sends a shiver down the spine of any newlywed while simultaneously pricking up the ears of every cash-hungry lawyer in town.

For you, it is a nightmare: not only has the relationship with the woman you once loved turned sour, but you are also most likely going to be dragged through the courts and made to shell out a small fortune for the privilege. And as for custody of the kids? No chance.

If you think the wedding was expensive, get ready for a shock when it comes to the divorce. In the UAE the average fee for a divorce that is completely amicable and uncontested is anywhere from AED8,000 to AED15,000. Not that bad, you’re thinking…

However, if there is any disagreement, expect this fee to quickly go through the roof, with added court costs and legal representation fees ensuring expenses skyrocket. Then there is the financial settlement, of course, which could make the legal costs seem like a drop in the ocean - unless you were smart enough to sign a prenup.

But while the dreaded ‘D word' might have you waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, for some people, divorce is the very cornerstone of their career. They feed off failed marriages, sucking up every last cent they can before dumping the withered carcasses in separate studio apartments: the Draculas of divorce, if you will.

One such guy who more than qualifies for this title is Bryan Salamone, seen above with his partner and one of his Lamborghinis, and in the main image in another of his custom Lambos. Salamone is a New York City lawyer who has taken the institution of divorce and turned it into a well-oiled moneymaking machine.

If there was ever any doubt about just how much money there is to be made from sorting out divorce settlements, a mere glance at Salamone’s extraordinary life will more than put that to bed. The man is constantly bejewelled with enough precious metal to sink a battleship; he owns a motor racing team and a personal collection of customised Lamborghinis, which he keeps on his multimillion-dollar estate; and he counts the likes of 50 Cent and Ice-T among his friends.

While Salamone’s firm doesn’t disclose exact profit figures, taking into account the $2,000 hourly retainer for the firm’s services advertised on its website, along with the extravagant lifestyle Salamone himself leads, it is pretty safe to assume that he is raking in some serious dough from divorce.

But lawyers aren’t the only ones who milk the divorce cash cow. Nowadays, other businesses are finding ways to rake in profits from marital failure, too. Case in point is the increasingly popular ‘divorce party’: basically a big, balls-out bash, where divorcees celebrate coming to the end of a long, hard divorce process and, more importantly, announce their newly single status and readiness to re-enter the dating scene.

Typically these parties are far from serene, low-profile affairs – think a typical stag or hen do, just with most of the guests a little longer in the tooth, carrying a few more wrinkles, and a much lower tolerance for excess. Not a good mix.

But despite the inherent and unavoidable overtone of sadness that is bound to cast a shadow over any so-called ‘freedom party’, it seems that they are more popular than ever, with one Las Vegas-based company, The Divorce Party Planner, reportedly organising three or four divorce parties every month for anywhere up to $20,000 a time. 

Our advice? The wedding and divorce were already expensive enough on their own. Save yourself the money and embarrassment and use the cash you saved to buy something ridiculous and start your mid-life crisis early. A personal submarine, perhaps?