Married for 25 years and the parents of two adult children, Edmundo Hoffens and his wife decided to divorce when he made a career decision to relocate to Miami—not an easy commute from the family’s home in Royersford. “We knew that we were coming to the right conclusion by divorcing,” says Hoffens. “She’s a wonderful woman, but we had nothing in common.”
Well, they had one thing in common: a sizable estate. To divide it fairly, the Hoffens decided to go through mediation with the Main Line Family Law Center in Radnor. “My ex-wife had seen an attorney and gotten a cost estimate,” Hoffens says. “If we’d both spent $180,000-$200,000 on attorneys, that money would’ve been taken right out of our shared assets. There was no hatred between us, and I was intending to be generous, so we decided to try mediation.”
Five months and $8,000 later, the Hoffens came to an agreement. They signed divorce papers in November 2013. “My kids—who were 18 and 22—saw that our decision to go through mediation meant that their inheritance and future financial stability wouldn’t be compromised,” says Hoffens. “And I wanted to set an example for them of how you treat your spouse—even when she becomes your ex-spouse.”
Hoffens acknowledges that mediation isn’t for every couple. “The starting point was that we had no bad intentions,” he says. “If there’s cheating, violence or other disagreements, mediation would be a lot more difficult. The couple has to be intellectually convinced that mediation will work.”
Other factors contributed to the Hoffens’ amicable parting. Child support and custody weren’t issues because both kids were over 18. That also made it easier to sell the family’s home, which Hoffens’ wife agreed to do. Meanwhile, Hoffens moved to Miami for good, eliminating any potential social awkwardness with friends.
Still, there could’ve been trouble reaching a settlement. Hoffens’ wife didn’t work, but he’s an executive with an international banking conglomerate. If anyone had the ability to hide money, it was Hoffens. “My ex-wife heard Cris [Pastore] asking tough questions, and that made her confident in the process,” he says. “Did we disagree? Yes. It’s not that you can’t get upset, but that you aren’t blaming one another. We had no desire to fight. We’d seen friends go through terrible divorces. We didn’t want to end up that way—and we haven’t.”