5 Top Tips for a Financially Amicable Divorce

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You've probably heard the quote: "The course of true love never did run smooth." That Bill Shakespeare had it right on the money -- in any century, there are way too many things that can prevent a couple from reaching their happily ever after. As the young lover Lysander points out just a bit later in that scene, even if a pair does avoid the obstacles, and comes together with the best of intentions, the affection may not last. "So quick bright things come to confusion." Well, this week, Motley Fool Answers cohosts Alison Southwick and Robert Brokamp will tackle the labor of love lost in their series about major life events: It's the divorce episode. Guest expert Amanda Kish of Motley Fool Wealth Management (a sister company of the Motley Fool) brings her best advice on how to get through this difficult period and come out the other side in the best condition you can be, financially and emotionally. They'll also reflect on the truly bizarre divorces of billionaire Kirk Kerkorian. But first, it's a What's Up, Bro? segment on the simple move you can make that should seriously reduce your healthcare expenses in retirement.

To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on June 11, 2019.

Alison Southwick: This is Motley Fool Answers! I'm Alison Southwick and I'm joined, as always, by Robert Brokamp, personal finance expert here at The Motley Fool.

Robert Brokamp: Hi!

Southwick: In this week's episode it's the next in our series for tackling big life events, and this time we're going to talk about tips for an amicable divorce with Motley Fool Wealth planner Amanda Kish. All that and more on this week's episode of Motley Fool Answers.

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Southwick: So, Bro, what's up?

Brokamp: Well, Alison, last week we discussed the high price of prescription drugs with Leigh Purvis of AARP, and one takeaway from that was you better save a lot of money so you can afford to...

Southwick: Drugs are too damn high!

Brokamp: ...cover all that. That's right. But there are some other ways to at least try to limit the cost of that, and that is be in good shape so you reduce the chances that you need any medication or medical care. That's what we're going to talk a little bit about for our What's Up, Bro? this week.

I'm going to talk, first of all, about an article by Paul Brandus on MarketWatch.com with the excellent subhead, "Want to retire well? Your personal trainer may be as important as your financial advisor." He included a couple of examples of folks who try to stay in shape.

Here's the workout followed by Joyce Field, who three days a week does this. She has a 30-minute warm-up. She does a cross-trainer machine, ab exercise, stretches, wall push-ups. Then comes Johnny, the trainer and they do mountain climbers, resistance bands, weight machines, squats, and burpees. Then she closes with three reps of 60-second planks with a 45-pound weight on her back.

Do you want to know how old Joyce is?

Southwick: Old enough to make me feel really bad about myself.

Brokamp: 86 years old.

Southwick: Good for her!

Brokamp: When did she begin doing all this? When she was 78. Another fun fact from that article. The number of people age 70 and older who are doing triathlons (the biking, running, and swimming) is up 168% since 2009. Pretty impressive! So it's never too late to start, and there are plenty of studies that back this up, including one from last summer by Gretchen Reynolds of The New York Times. She highlighted this in her article: "Exercise makes the aging heart more useful."

What this study did was take a bunch of sedentary middle-aged people, run them through various exercises four or five times a week. One of those sessions was strenuous, but otherwise it was pretty easy. Mostly just walking around and things like that. Sure enough, after two years the exercisers were in better shape, specifically (and here's the quote from the article) "the left ventricles in the exerciser's heart muscles were stronger and less stiff than at the start of the study. Their hearts, in effect, were more youthful now," even though they really hadn't done much exercise up to that point.

That's very encouraging. But a more recent article by Reynolds showed how much the benefits of exercise last, even after you've stopped exercising. She discussed a study that was published in April that revisited a study that ended in 2003. So go back to 2003 and this study took people between the ages of 40 and 60. They were all overweight. They were all basically sedentary. Broke them into three groups. The control group did nothing. One group did moderate exercise, mostly walking and things like that. And another group did more vigorous exercise similar to jogging.

After eight months of doing these things, you can guess what happened, of course. The people who were doing some exercise were better on all kinds of factors, such as aerobic fitness, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and waist circumference. But the recent study went back to these people a decade later and said, "Would you like to do a little reunion study?" More than 100 of them said, "Yes, let's do it."

So they looked at these people. Some of them continued to exercise. A lot of them didn't. But those from the control group, the folks who did nothing, just basically got worse. Most had lost about 10% of their aerobic capacity, which is typical, apparently. After age 40 we lose about 1% of our fitness annually. How depressing is that? [laughs]

But, those men and women who had exercised vigorously for eight months retained substantially more fitness, and this is 10 years after the study.

On average, their aerobic capacity was only about 5% compared to where they were when they joined the study. And those few who were still exercising four times a week were in better shape today than they were more than a decade ago when they started the study.

Southwick: Even though they're 10 years older.

Brokamp: Yes. The walkers in the study from the early 2000s lost about as much aerobic capacity as the control group, but on measures of metabolic health they were still in better shape, and that is stuff like blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and things like that.

So in the words of Dr. William Kraus, professor of medicine and cardiology at Duke who oversaw this new study, he said, "Exercise is a powerful modulator of health and some effects can be quite enduring." And that, Alison, is what's up!

[...]

Southwick: So yes, it's time once again for the next in our series of tackling major money/life events, and so today we are joined by Amanda Kish. She is a financial planner with Motley Fool Wealth Management...

Brokamp: Oh, a sister company of The Motley Fool!

Southwick: I thought you'd be ready for that.

Brokamp: I know. I was going to comment that Amanda is one of the most qualified people at The Motley Fool, because she's not only a CFP but a CFA as well. I think she's the only one at the company that has both those designations, right?

Amanda Kish: I think there's one other person. We're a rare breed.

Southwick: What's the difference?

Brokamp: CFP is all the financial planning stuff. Difficult. You take a series of classes but one hard exam. CFA, man, that's THE exam. The Level II is tough!

Kish: Brutal.

Southwick: Are you not a CFA?

Kish: No, I'm just a regular, old CFP.

Southwick: Oh! Why do we even have you on this show?

Brokamp: I know!

Southwick: Move over!

Brokamp: Eye candy. I think that's the only reason. [laughs] She laughs.

Southwick: Well, Amanda, thank you for joining us! We already got a little bit of your bio, but why don't you tell us a little bit more about how you came to be a planner with The Motley Fool, because you've been with The Motley Fool for a while in different capacities.

Kish: Yes, so I've been with The Fool in various capacities for about 12 years. After I got my MBA in finance I started off working at an asset management firm in the Rochester area. Then I started out here as a writer. Started taking over the Champion Funds investment newsletter many years ago. I worked with Bro on Rule Your Retirement for many years. And then four years ago I transitioned over to Motley Fool Wealth Management as a planner. That's what I've been doing ever since. I wear many hats.

Brokamp: And she's also the latest member of our 401(k) committee. Welcome, Amanda!

Kish: Thank you so much!

Southwick: Is there like some secret initiation that happens or anything like that?

Kish: It's a secret.

Brokamp: What happens in the 401(k) committee stays in the 401(k) committee.

Kish: Exactly!

Southwick: Well, we have asked you to come in and help tackle the topic of divorce, and particularly you're going to walk us through, as much as possible, how to have an amicable divorce, and you are going to be speaking a bit from personal experience, but also from your experience as a planner.

Kish: Exactly. What I'm going to talk about are my five top tips for having an amicable divorce and I'll preface this. I'm not a lawyer, so these are just my experiences. Again, it's just my personal experience and my experience from my financial planning work.

The top tip that I would start off with would be to remember that, more than anything, your divorce is a business transaction. Really, you need to think of it as a business partnership that you are unwinding that just didn't work out. It's very important to keep the emotion out of it.

It's a difficult shift for some people, but when you're talking about the divorce proceedings, you need to recognize that your spouse very likely no longer has your best interests in mind, so you really need to be your own advocate and be present in the entire process. If you have a lawyer, certainly that's someone that's going to be able to advocate for you, but you need to be there. You need to be fully present in order to let your lawyer do his or her best job.

Some mistakes that I have seen people make in the divorce process is letting those emotions get involved and letting that cloud their judgment as far as the whole business part of it goes. I've seen cases where a client would say, "I'm tired of fighting. I don't care. Let her take what she wants. I don't want to deal with this. I just want to get this done as quickly as possible. Whatever it costs. Whatever it takes."

I've seen cases where someone has taken the attitude of, "Well, he's more concerned about the money. I'm not that selfish, so I'm not going to fight him because I'm a better person and I'm going to be more noble and suffer." Those are both reasonable defense mechanisms, I guess, and ways of coping, but they don't help with the ultimate business of coming to the table and negotiating for what's in your best interest. So it's best to keep that clarity.

Southwick: Does it help to see a therapist? You're like, "OK, this is my money side, but I also need to take care of my emotional side and maybe I can work out some of that emotion with a therapist to leave me a little bit clearer when I'm dealing with my lawyer."

Kish: Yes, and that's actually one of my points for later on; it is dealing with the emotional side so you can be a little bit more present for dealing with the financial side of things.

Brokamp: That's sometimes difficult advice to follow...

Kish: Absolutely.

Brokamp: ...because it can be such an emotionally draining experience that you might be tempted to think, "I just want to get this over with as soon as possible." In my parents' case, their divorce was also prompted by my dad's business failing, so there were all kinds of things going on, and I've seen that in other divorces as well. There's something else that's going on that is the straw (or the bale) that breaks the camel's back that brings the marriage to an end. It's often not just the divorce that's happening. It's so much turmoil and people are like, "I just want to get this done." Ten years later you realize, "Oh, I wish I didn't rush that!"

Kish: Absolutely! You don't get a do-over, so you do want to take your time and make sure that you're making decisions that are right not only in the near term, but in the long term. A lot of folks look at it and say, "What do I need to do in the next couple of weeks or months to get to D-Day when I sign the papers," and not necessarily thinking about how that is going to affect you 10 or 20 years down the road.

For an example, a client may say, "All I want is to keep the house because I want stability for my kids. I don't want them to change school districts. He can have everything else. I'm not going to worry about that." That may not be the best decision if you're then stuck with a house that you can't afford and you're draining financial assets to support that. So you need to consider not only now, and today, and the day after the divorce, but also a decade or two down the road.

Southwick: I think when people find themselves facing a divorce, their first reaction is, "I need a lawyer." Is that the right reaction?

Kish: That is a good thing to think. You may not necessarily need a lawyer, at least to start off with. That leads into my second point. I would highly recommend exploring all the different options that you have for going through the divorce process. For example, in my personal experience when I was divorced, we used a mediator.

Basically what the mediator does is they sit down with each party in the room and they hammer out all the details of the separation. The splitting up of assets. The liabilities. Their job is to make sure that each person is heard. That they come to a fair and equitable agreement. Their role is not to be an advocate for either person or to offer any legal advice. In most cases they're not a lawyer.

And in our situation that made sense, because our divorce was fairly simple. We didn't have the complication of kids. Most of our finances were not too terribly intertwined, so it was just a question of our primary residence. Of how we were going to split that up. We had already decided I would be keeping that, so it was just a question of hammering out how much I was going to pay out.

So when you're talking about a divorce, people's standard of living is almost going to decline, unfortunately, so if there's anything you can do on the front end to mitigate those expenses that you're going to be spending in legal fees, I would recommend doing that. So looking at mediation is one possible way to do that. If you have a more amicable relationship, things are fairly simple.

That's not going to be possible for every person. Your situation is going to be unique if you have concerns that there's complicated custody issues, or a family business, or you're concerned your spouse is hiding assets, then that's where you really want to get a lawyer on board. And I'll also say that even with mediation, you can still employ the services of a lawyer. You can consult with one before, during, after just to make sure that you understand the law and that you're not missing anything.

But then if you find that mediation is not right for you, there's a step above that before you go full out, shark lawyer. It's a process called collaborative divorce where each spouse would team up with a lawyer, sit down in a room with the four of you, and work out those same details similar to how you would in mediation. So that's just something that can be a little bit less aggressive and a little bit easier on everybody involved and can keep some of the costs down if you're not fighting with each other and worrying about necessarily going to court.

Southwick: We talked, before the show started, about how in Virginia you have to be separated for a year before you can even get officially divorced if you're legally separated. And where you're from -- in New York -- you just go get a divorce. I make that sound much easier than it is, but yes. Just oversimplify it. Are most of the laws around divorce set at a state level that you need someone to help you navigate it or is a mediator still going to be like, "Yeah, yeah, no, I got this," in understanding the laws?

Kish: Divorce law is state-specific, so you will need to know that. A mediator's going to know the laws in the state that they're operating in. Again, they're not a lawyer, but they'll know what needs to be done. In my case we used a mediator and then looped the lawyer in at the last minute for signing everything. You'll probably have some contact with a legal professional of some kind and, again, it's never a bad idea to make sure you know what's going on, as we said earlier. You don't get a do-over, so make sure you understand everything the first time and get it right.

Southwick: Let's move to your next point, which is to get everything in writing.

Kish: Yes! Document, document, document. One of the first things that you'll do when you start the separation process is you're going to want to get documentation of all of your assets, so you'll be pulling copies of bank account statements, credit card accounts, investment accounts, 401(k)s; as well as things like recent years' tax returns, insurance policies, health insurance, deeds for any real estate that you own. It's important to have a full accounting of everything. To have all the assets, liabilities, and income to be separated out in an equitable manner.

Along with that, the aspect of having everything in writing. As you can imagine, when it comes to divorce, when there's money and hard feelings involved, there's definitely room for some shady behavior sometimes. That whole process can bring out the worst in even the best of people at times.

It really helps to not leave anything vital as just a verbal agreement so you don't run into trouble later. Whether that's discussing how much money in your checking account each of you are going to take, or where the kids are going to spend their holidays, it's important to have that documented with specifics, dates, dollar amounts, so you don't run into issues or misunderstandings. I'm using air quotes here for someone suddenly seeing some assets in a joint checking account disappear because you didn't get that in writing.

Southwick: And when you say in writing, that can also just be an email. I watched enough Judge Judy to know that an email can really change your circumstances.

Kish: Yes. It's important to have some kind of documentation that you can fall back on. Obviously when you're talking about the more formal things, you'll want to get that in a more formalized manner; but yes, having something (even an email) in many cases will suffice.

Southwick: Let's move to your fourth point, which is to have a divorce makeover. Get back out there! Hop on Tinder! Start swiping!

Kish: Not quite that fun, so it's not a fun, clear-eye makeover, but a financial divorce makeover. When you're married, your financial life is obviously going to be very intertwined with that of your spouse, and that's going to vary from couple to couple; but extracting yourself from that being intertwined does take some work. And I find there are some things that people tend to do up-front to get to the D-Day logistical things you might have to do to finalize everything.

But then there's also other things that tend to fall by the wayside that can get pushed off. I'll deal with it later and you really need to take care of both sets of those items. So the things that you would do along the way. You're going to be opening bank accounts and investment accounts in your own name. You'll be keeping an eye on joint accounts. Maybe freezing joint accounts during the divorce process to make sure there are no mysterious withdrawals. Closing those joint accounts.

If you don't have credit established in your own name, you're going to want to do that as soon as possible. It makes sense to check in on your credit score as well. Those are the kinds of things that people tend to do right away to get the divorce finalized. There are other things that are more important, I think, that people tend to let fall by the wayside, and they can range from very small things (for example, changing your passwords). If you have online banking, once you have all of that separated into individual accounts, you're going to want to change that password. Even your Netflix password. That's something to consider as well.

Probably one of the most important things that you'll need to do is update your estate plan. Things like your will. Advanced medical directive. Power of attorney. If you've got your spouse listed on those documents, you're going to want to make updates. Changing beneficiaries on all of your investment accounts. Any bank accounts that have a transfer on death designation. 401(k). IRAs. Pensions and annuities. Even if you're not currently collecting them, they're most likely going to have your spouse as a beneficiary, so you're going to want to update that. Change that to a child or another family member.

Brokamp: The same with life insurance policies and stuff like that.

Kish: That was going to be the next words out of my mouth was life insurance -- update those beneficiaries. So unless you don't care if your ex-spouse collects if you kick the bucket, definitely get that updated.

And consider the tax ramifications of your change in status. How you're filing taxes is going to change. Most likely you'll have been filing married, filing jointly, and that's going to change to most likely single or head of household. You may want to review the withholdings in your paycheck with your employer. You may need to file an updated W-4. And also be aware of how you're going to file your taxes. If you have custody of any children for more than half of the year, you could potentially file as head of household, and that's going to be more advantageous. It will be taxed at a little bit lower rate, higher standard deduction.

I know of one individual who divorced, had custody of his children about 75% to 80% of the time. He worked in finance, so he had always done his family's taxes. Continued to do them filing single after the divorce. Eventually after a couple of years decided to offload that to an accountant and the accountant said, "Hey, you could have been filing as head of household this whole time and saving a significant amount on taxes." So make sure that you have the correct filing status for your updated situation.

Southwick: And when should you get professional help?

Kish: That depends. It's probably never too soon to do that. Kind of it is part of the issue of your divorce makeover. Don't be afraid to loop in financial professionals. You may already have a lawyer that you're working with. Don't be afraid to include an accountant or a financial planner to take a bigger, more comprehensive look at your overall financial picture and importantly, how that's going to change.

And there are actually planners out there that have certified divorce financial analyst status. Those are not letters that I have after my name, but those are individuals that are specifically trained in financial matters relating to divorce, so it may make sense to seek out someone with that designation if you have that need.

Brokamp: Divorce changes last names. If you had a financial plan while you were married that was based on all kinds of things like your living expenses, how much you had in your 401(k), how much you're going to get from Social Security, then you could divorce and it's all different.

Your living expenses have changed, retirement assets have probably been split. Social Security -- you can get it based on your record or your spouse's record if you've been married for 10 years, so if you haven't been, that changes things, too; and if you were going to get a benefit based on your spouse's record, but then you get remarried, that could change things, too. I think seeing a financial professional who knows all the ins and outs of that stuff is very helpful.

Kish: Absolutely!

Southwick: And your final piece of advice -- and we touched on this at the top of the show -- was to not neglect your emotional well-being as well.

Kish: This is not a financial-related tip, but I think it loops into the whole holistic idea. I think it's important to make sure that your emotional side is nourished and taken care of as well, so that's having a good support system in place, whether that's a network of friends and family that can be there for you.

And also I would advocate for potentially talking to a therapist or a counselor. I know some people think there's some kind of stigma on that. I think especially men are more reluctant to seek out that kind of help, but I would encourage anyone dealing with a divorce... Because there's going to be emotions and feelings. Even in the best of cases and how amicable things are, you're going to have some strong feelings about the whole process.

So it really makes sense to have an outlet where you can deal with that, because it loops back into my first point of looking at this as a business transaction. If you have an outlet where you can process those feelings and deal with those emotions, then you can come to the negotiating table and deal with lawyers and deal with your spouse a little bit more logically and clear-headed.

Divorce is always going to be difficult in some way, but there are steps you can take to make it a little bit easier and a little bit more humane on everyone involved, and hopefully come through the other end as unscathed emotionally and financially as possible.

Southwick: Here at The Motley Fool, if you are a woman who's gone through a divorce, then it will eventually be your turn to guide another woman here at The Motley Fool through a divorce. It's like this torch that has been passed down for a very long time at The Motley Fool. They all use the same lawyer and they're all here for each other. It's a sign of how close this company is that we're all like, "Yes, we're on your team. Your co-workers are here for you."

Where should people go for more information?

Kish: There are a lot of online resources. A couple of things I would recommend. If you are looking for a lawyer, a good place for referrals would be your state and local bar association. They might be able to provide some good recommendations. I mentioned earlier there are certified divorce financial analysts. The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts is the institution that has that designation, so you can find them online at institutedfa.com. And one other resource that I found useful and I think other people found useful in doing my research is a book called Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life by Abigail Trafford.

Again, take everything with a grain of salt. Your situation is going to be unique, but I think this is one book that lets you know that you're not alone. What you have dealt with other people have dealt with, as well, and it's definitely a good resource for a lot of people in the process.

Southwick: Amanda, thank you so much for joining us, but I want you to stick around, because you talked to us about how to have an amicable divorce, and I'm going to talk about a very un-amicable divorce.

Our sister company, Motley Fool Wealth Management, is a registered investment advisor that can help put your financial plan and investing needs in the context of your big life transitions. If you've enjoyed learning from Amanda or the other Motley Fool Wealth Management planners we've had on the show, guess what? You can get more of them in your life. Visit FoolWealth.com/radio. At FoolWealth.com/radio you can find podcasts, notes, and resources and even book a no-obligation appointment with Amanda or another planner you've probably heard on the show. Please consider the risks, costs, and suitability of investments before choosing any investment professional. All investments involve risk and may lose money. Motley Fool Wealth Management does not guarantee the results of any of its advice or account management.

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Southwick: So Amanda, you offered advice on how to have an amicable split-up. And so while I was researching what we should do for our fun segment, and by fun it was like, "Ugh, we're talking about divorce, so how much fun could we really have here?" But I stumbled across this insane story of Kirk Kerkorian, the billionaire, and his wife Lisa Bonder. Are you familiar with this?

Brokamp: I am not at all!

Kish: No.

Southwick: Great, so we're going to see how well you can guess. Rick, do you want to make guesses, too?

Rick Engdahl: We'll see.

Southwick: So Kirk Kerkorian (and I think I'm saying his name right) was truly a self-made man. He was born to poor Armenian immigrants. He dropped out of school in eighth grade. He eventually became a pilot and later a savvy businessman. How savvy? Well, he made his billions most notably through the company MGM. He was basically a Las Vegas hotel magnate and he was known as the King of the Las Vegas Strip. So, kind of a big deal. And then also MGM, the studio.

He was a very avid tennis player and so it was on the courts that in 1986 he met Lisa Bonder, a pro tennis player, and he convinced her to leave her husband. So for more than 10 years she was his companion, but he refused to marry her, saying that he was happily unmarried.

But then things changed. Lisa told Kerkorian that she was pregnant, and that he was the father. But he had his doubts. Why was that?

Kish: He had a vasectomy?

Southwick: That's a good guess!

Brokamp: Yes, it was before the days of the little blue pill. I don't know.

Southwick: So while Lisa was in her 30s, he was 48 years older and at 81 years old he figured his swimmers had long stopped swimming. But he kept quiet about it. Kerkorian was still reticent to get married, but he finally gave in after Lisa said she wanted to legitimize the child. He said, "OK, we can get married, but on one condition." What was it?

Brokamp: I was going to say prenup, but that's too boring.

Kish: That's what I was going to say. She stopped playing tennis.

Southwick: He said, "Yes, we can get married on the condition that we get divorced in 28 days and you waive all spousal support."

Brokamp: What?

Southwick: Kind of a prenup, but he's like, "Yeah, we'll get married but we're getting divorced 28 days later."

Brokamp: That's like a pre-divorce, or something.

Southwick: So baby Kira was born in May. Kerkorian and Bonder were married in August and then divorced 28 days later. So Lisa Bonder wasn't going to get any spousal support, but think about the baby. She took Kerkorian to court asking for $320,000 a month in child support or $3.8 million a year to keep Kira in the lifestyle she had grown accustomed to in her three short years on earth. At the time, this was by far a new record in child support.

What kind of lifestyle, you ask? Well, for example, for Kira's first birthday at the Hotel Bel Air, it cost $70,000 for how many guests?

Kish: 500.

Brokamp: 501.

Engdahl: Three.

Southwick: Ah, Rick was closer! 50.

Brokamp: What?

Southwick: That was it! 20 kids and 30 adults. A $70,000 birthday party.

Brokamp: Holy cow!

Southwick: Could I just take the money and... For real. So how does a 3-year-old spend $320,000 a month anyway? According to documents filed by Lisa Bonder with the court, put these in order of expense from highest to lowest: toys, travel, pets. What order? Highest expense to lowest?

Brokamp: I want to say pets as No. 1, but I'm going to go with travel, toys, and pets.

Kish: Then I'll do something different. I'll say toys, pets, travel.

Engdahl: Pets, travel, toys.

Southwick: Well, Bro was right. The 3year-old needed $144,000 a month for travel. For toys, just $1,000. And $436 for bunnies and other pets. What about all the other money? Well, $14,000 a month for parties and playdates and $7,000 for charity. This is a very philanthropic 3-year-old.

Brokamp: What a good kid!

Southwick: $4,300 for food plus another $5,900 to eat out. $2,500 for movies and other outings. $1,400 for laundry and cleaning. The judge granted her $50,000 a month, so not exactly what she asked for, but still...

Brokamp: Pretty nice.

Southwick: That's not bad. From what I can tell, she kept coming back for more and taking him to court regularly, later asking for $100,000 a month and eventually Kerkorian's lawyer decided to get creative in figuring out the truth of the kid's paternity by hiring a private investigator named Anthony Pellicano. He was known as the "Hollywood fixer."

So Kerkorian suspected that the real father was a film producer named Steve Bing, so Pellicano wiretapped Lisa's phones and even went so far as to steal dental floss from Bing's hotel trash can. Pellicano later went to prison for three years for doing this and other illegal stuff for celebrities, including Steven Seagal. Anyway.

It turns out Bing was the father, but in an ironic turn, he had also paid the PI, Anthony Pellicano, over $300,000 to figure out if he was the father [of the child of] of what British actress-model? "Yeah, baby!" That's my hint for you.

Brokamp: So it's Austin Powers, so it's... I can't remember her name. I can visualize her but I can't remember her name, and she's still in great shape.

Southwick: No one remembers her name? Elizabeth Hurley.

Brokamp: There you go! Grant's old flame.

Southwick: Yes, so the same PI that was investigating him to find out if he was Kerkorian's actual baby daddy was actually paying the same PI to figure out who Elizabeth Hurley's real baby daddy was. He was the baby's daddy in both cases.

So weird, right? What a ride!

Where are they all today? Well, Kerkorian died in 2015, just nine days after his 98th birthday. He bequeathed most of his billion-dollar estate to charity. Isn't that nice?

Despite his death, his child support battle waged on. Kira turned 18 a year after his death and was set to receive a $7 million trust fund, even though they already established that she wasn't his kid. But whatever. She sued, and then she received another $1.5 million on top of the $7 million. No idea why, again. Not his kid.

We didn't get to talk about Kerkorian's fourth wife. Yes, that's right. He got married in 2014 a year before his death. Their marriage lasted 57 days and this woman was set to receive about $10 million, but she sued for more, settling for about $12.5 million. And I don't know what the moral of the story is. It's just crazy, right? I mean, all of these people just suing each other for money and being miserable for decades. This fight went on for decades and decades. Maybe the morale is don't be a billionaire?

Kish: I don't know any. Priorities.

Southwick: Priorities?

Brokamp: Yeah.

Southwick: Choose your spouse carefully.

Brokamp: I think that is a lesson. Many wealthy people, when they're asked what their No. 1 piece of advice is, somewhere in the top five is make sure you get the right spouse. It makes all the difference in the world.

Southwick: There you go. All right. So you guys did kind of OK on guessing the facts of that story, but it was a little crazy.

Kish: It was.

Brokamp: It was a little crazy!

Kish: That's a Lifetime TV movie.

Southwick: And then you're suddenly like, "Steven Seagal is in this? What? Where is this going?" Well, that's the show! Amanda, thank you again for joining us!

Kish: My pleasure! Thank you for having me!

Southwick: The show is edited amicably...

Brokamp: That's what I was going to suggest.

Southwick: ...by Rick Engdahl. Our email is Answers@Fool.com. Again, if you want to learn more about Motley Fool Wealth Management, you can head to FoolWealth.com/radio. For Robert Brokamp and Amanda Kish, I'm Alison Southwick. Stay Foolish, everybody!

Alison Southwick has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Amanda Kish, CFA, CFP is an employee of Motley Fool Wealth Management, a separate, sister company of The Motley Fool, LLC. The information provided is intended to be educational only, and should not be construed as individualized advice. For individualized advice, please consult a financial professional. Amanda Kish has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Robert Brokamp, CFP has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends The New York Times. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.