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In a decision that was issued August 31, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, has sent the well-publicized divorce of Charles and Linda Brandes, who separated in 2004, back to the trial court.

In 2005, the two agreed to a distribution of community property. Charles got homes in Rancho Santa Fe and Borrego Springs. Linda, to whom he had been married for 19 years, got six homes, including a penthouse on Park Avenue in New York, a beachside home in Del Mar, and a home in Rancho Santa Fe. At that time, the value of her real estate was $50 million, and her total estate was $100 million.

She was awarded $450,000 a month in spousal support — a bone of contention in the appellate court decision.

When they met in 1983 (it was a second marriage for each, and both had two children), she was making $6 an hour as a librarian and he was making $44,148 as a money manager. His firm had only $8.2 million under management. In June of 2004, the firm, Brandes Investment Partners, had $85 billion under management. He got rich and was listed in the Forbes' list of 400 richest Americans. (Now he is listed as worth $1.06 billion by Forbes — number 1605 on the billionaires list.)

As the Reader has tracked (Feb. 7, 2008; Jan. 20, 2009; Feb. 23, 2011; Dec. 7, 2011), the firm's money under management declined sharply as the firm made some bad investments — buying stocks of newspapers, banks, and others that got hit. The firm now has $26.4 billion under management, according to Forbes. However, the decline of Brandes Investment Partners is not part of the appellate decision. Charles has taken a third, much younger bride, with whom he has been prominent in San Diego social circles.

Both Charles and Linda are appealing the trial court's decision. Charles says the trial court erred by granting her $450,000 a month in spousal support. He says her share of community property is sufficient for her expenses of $100,000 per month. The appellate court sends that back to the trial court without ruling on it. The trial court "must revisit the spousal support issue," says the appellate court

At the time the trial court ordered this spousal support, Charles Brandes was raking in $5.6 million a month, according to the appellate court. He wanted her to sell her New York penthouse and Del Mar home to support her lifestyle.

The appellate court partially agrees with Linda on a matter regarding 6000 shares of Brandes Investment Partners. The appellate court says the trial court is "to conduct further proceedings" on that matter.

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shirleyberan Sept. 6, 2015 @ 9:07 a.m.

Joint dream, joint venture. After 20 years she's probably happy about the the new girl/puppet.


Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2015 @ 9:58 a.m.

shirleyberan: I would be happy with $450,000 a month and $100 million in assets. She says she needs more to maintain her lifestyle. I will bet she has a lot of men -- particularly the kind of crooks that show up on this blog -- pursuing her. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2015 @ 11:22 a.m.

shirleyberan: That is obvious. Many people who get divorced suspect that the lawyers on each side conspire with one another to keep the divorce going, and the lawyers' meters running. Best, Don Bauder


AlexClarke Sept. 7, 2015 @ 5:41 a.m.

Only if you have money otherwise they have to settle for a Big Mac and a six pack.


Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2015 @ 7:02 a.m.

AlexClarke: You are right. The conspiracy by lawyers on both sides to keep the divorce going, and each lawyer's bills rising, mainly works when there is a lot of money involved.

The trick is to maximize the hate of each ex-spouse, and turn it into an ego battle between the two. Divorce lawyers are expert at that. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan Sept. 6, 2015 @ 10:42 a.m.

And sorry about that stock devaluation lately. Probably should fnd another way to make millions.


Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2015 @ 11:29 a.m.

shirleyberan: While the market tanked in 2008/early 2009, stocks bounced back, and bond prices soared. Brandes Investment Partners' money under management dropped precipitously from around $100 billion to $26 billion. Some of that decline took place while the stock market was booming after the first quarter of 2009, when the Fed began printing money frenetically. The decline in money under management seems to have leveled off. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan Sept. 6, 2015 @ 11:23 a.m.

That first wife is probably sick she missed out on the real successes and he'll be closing the loopholes by the third one. Isn't he legally responsible for #2's lifestyle for a few years? Bankruptcy protection?


Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2015 @ 11:31 a.m.

shirleyberan: I have always wondered about spouse number one. She missed out on the fat gain. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan Sept. 6, 2015 @ 4:01 p.m.

I have heard of spiteful spouses who get rid of their assets rather than share.


Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2015 @ 4:31 p.m.

shirleyberan: I take it you mean that spiteful spouses sell off the assets they got from their ex-husbands. That can be an intelligent financial strategy. Brandes wants his second ex-spouse, Linda, to sell some of the assets she got in the original settlement. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2015 @ 4:35 p.m.

San Diego Highwayman: Good grief? I don't think either side in this divorce needs grief counseling. Both have plenty of moolah to salve their personal wounds. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2015 @ 4:38 p.m.

Dennis Rosche: Charles Brandes has plenty of money to satisfy his second ex-wife. Once you get to be a billionaire, you have money to spare. Best, Don Bauder


AlexClarke Sept. 7, 2015 @ 5:43 a.m.

A problem that I do not contemplate having.


Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2015 @ 7:07 a.m.

AlexClarke: My guess is that none of our army of bloggers -- Visduh, Twister, you, et al -- has become a billionaire. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2015 @ 9:43 p.m.

shirleyberan: The appellate judges rebuked her pretty severely on several points. Best, Don Bauder


AlexClarke Sept. 7, 2015 @ 5:44 a.m.

Meanwhile in the real world . . . . . .


Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2015 @ 7:09 a.m.

AlexClarke: You mean that Rancho Santa Fe and the divorce court do not represent the real world? You may be right on that. Best, Don Bauder


Visduh Sept. 7, 2015 @ 10:27 a.m.

There is something otherworldly about a guy who can amass billions of dollars in a few years. That is especially true when he didn't invent anything or develop a new technology. It would be intriguing to know just how he did it.

These big-bucks divorces are always fun to follow, in that we mere mortals cannot imagine how it would be possible to spend even $100K a month. In her case, in that she has all those homes, presumably paid for, and all she has to do is enjoy them. Yes, I suppose all the maids, gardeners, cooks, ladies-in-waiting, bodyguards, etc. in each of the homes could burn some heavy coin.


Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2015 @ 7:42 p.m.

Visduh: It gets a little complicated, but one of the points at issue in this divorce is how much of Brandes's massive, quickly obtained money was a result of his expertise, or somebody else's. Best, Don Bauder


shirleyberan Sept. 7, 2015 @ 11:27 a.m.

Maybe she's more charitable than he is.


Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2015 @ 7:45 p.m.

shirleyberan: She says she is charitable toward her other family members, but I don't know how much she gives to nonprofits such as the San Diego Opera. Nor do I know how charitable he is. He is certainly charitable toward luxury car makers, because at some point he had purchased nine of them. Best, Don Bauder


Darren Sept. 7, 2015 @ 4:43 p.m.

Money can sure put out the fires that lack of money seems to bring, but I am sure I don't have the same issues as many of the super-wealthy. And, I don't need to fund an army of lawyers and their minions who thrive (billable hours) off the drama and quest for control or more.


Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2015 @ 7:48 p.m.

Darren: As a financial journalist, I have followed the superrich for more than half a century. I find that those who spend every waking minute trying to amass even more riches are very tiresome people. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Sept. 7, 2015 @ 11:34 p.m.

Back in the fifties, Lloyd (Sig-Alert) Sigmon told me that the "paper millionaires" as they were called in those days, had only to be caught in a misrepresentation once, and they would be shunned by those in the upper echelons of business, ostracized for life. Big deals were made with handshakes.

Sigmon was a square-dealer, but he managed Autry's money very wisely. Started out as an Oklahoma country boy with a ham radio license. He and his wife were among the very best of their kind.


Don Bauder Sept. 8, 2015 @ 9:09 a.m.

Twister: That was no doubt true in the 1950s. Multi-millionaire and multi-billionaire crooks are no longer shunned by society. They are celebrated -- in fact, may run for high political office. Best, Don Bauder


Ponzi Sept. 9, 2015 @ 8:13 p.m.

Time for a retread. I'm sure her cooking and housekeeping is worth the $450K a month. He can consult with a Russian bride firm, or just catch a run-a-way from some other guy that has already paid the fee. Like some savvy trophy wife hunters.

Greed. They both deserve each other. Only the lawyers win. I can attest to that. At least my ex-wife and I sunk a corrupt lawyer.


Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2015 @ 12:22 p.m.

Ponzi: I have never met or heard of a trophy wife hunter that I considered savvy. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Sept. 11, 2015 @ 1:59 p.m.

My trophy wife is a gol-durned JEWEL! Been with her well over forty years.

Hey, she may not be as faithful as a bird-dog or as kind as Santy Claus, and I don't worry about what she has not, but I'm sure'n hell thankful for what she has got.

Twister (every which way but loose)


Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2015 @ 9:10 p.m.

Twister: And I assume she is just as happy in the arrangement as you are -- at least until she reads this post. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Sept. 12, 2015 @ 12:17 a.m.

You really know how to hammer my stein.


Don Bauder Sept. 12, 2015 @ 11:02 a.m.

Twister: Is that where the name Hammerstein comes from? Best, Don Bauder


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