Skip to main content

Newsroom

News, articles, and press releases from our team.

Matrimonial Attorney Gus Dimopoulos On 5 Things You Need To Know To Survive And Thrive After A Divorce

As part of our series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Survive And Thrive After A Divorce Or Breakup” we had the pleasure of interviewing Gus Dimopoulos.

For over 20 years, New York matrimonial attorney Gus Dimopoulos, Esq., managing partner of Dimopoulos Bruggemann P.C. (www.dimolaw.com), has been a go-to source for strategic counsel and innovative solutions in some of the most complicated divorce cases on record. His recent landmark victory in litigating a prohibition on social media posting during divorce proceedings set a precedent in the New York Courts. Widely acknowledged as an expert in matrimonial and family law, Dimopoulos' study of mental illness, forensic evaluations, narcissistic personality disorder, coercive control, and substance abuse enables him to effectively resolve even the most challenging cases. He excels at achieving equitable asset valuations that are in his clients' best interests and has consistently secured custody in highly contentious disputes when settlement wasn't an option.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to ‘get to know you.’ Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

I had a fairly typical — and lovely — upbringing. I was born in Queens, but my parents were immigrants from Greece. When I was five, we moved north to Scarsdale in Westchester County, New York. I may be a divorce attorney, but I don’t come from a family that divorced: My parents were married for 55 years, and even in their old age, they’d still hug while watching television in the evenings.

Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

As I suspect is the case with many lawyers, the story of how I found my niche is actually pretty mundane. At the start of my career, I was focused on commercial litigation. I happened to assist on a case involving matrimonial law and found it both interesting and rewarding — enough so to take more cases, and eventually make it my specialty. When a client calls your office in this line of work, you have a chance to really help them.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

I was handling a divorce and the husband — who owned part of a large, privately-held business — was being cagey throughout the process. We suspected he was worth more than the court-appointed expert stated and wanted further discovery, but the judge wouldn’t allow it. Then, just a couple weeks after we settled the divorce, the husband was on the front page of the Wall Street Journal: His company had sold for $600 million, making his worth 20-times what it was in the divorce settlement. Needless to say, we made a motion to reopen the case — the judge complied and was not very forgiving to the husband.

Do you have a favorite life lesson quote?

My favorite quote is by President Theodore Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly.”

The full quote is longer than that, but you get the gist: We shouldn’t judge others or talk the talk unless we have tried the task at hand ourselves. This is especially applicable to marriages and divorces.

Can you tell us a bit about your experience as a divorce lawyer? What have you learned about yourself throughout your career?

I have a knack for knowing not just what my client wants, but also what the opposing side wants. I find it easy to understand and analyze their mindset. That can go a long way in representing my clients and getting them the best possible outcome. When you learn that the opposing side is interested in something intangible like respect or agency, you can better negotiate. 

In your opinion, what are the most common mistakes people make after they go through a divorce? What can be done to avoid that? 

Many people fail to do self-reflection following a divorce. They don’t take stock of themselves and what led them to divorce. It’s shocking how often people will go through long, painful divorces and yet not take a minute to think about their role in it. And this causes people to fail in their future relationships. Unless you realize what your role was in the divorce, you're no better than when you started off.

People generally label "divorce" as being "negative." And yes, while there are downsides, there can also be a lot of positives that come out of it as well. What would you say that they are? Can you share an example or share a story?

There’s a persistent — and wrong — myth that divorce is always negative. In my experience, it can often be an overwhelmingly positive experience. It can allow two people to achieve greater happiness. Indeed, I stay in touch with a lot of my clients, and many of them are happier than ever before.

I had a recent client tell me, “Gus, you’re not a lawyer — you’re a liberator.” His divorce allowed him to exit an abusive relationship, reconnect with old friends and family, and start pursuing his favorite hobbies again. 

Some people are scared to ‘get back out there’ and date again after being with their former spouse for many years and hearing dating horror stories. What would you say to motivate someone to get back out there and start a new beginning?

There are more opportunities than you realize to meet new people… through friends, through a church or synagogue, through a local club or organization. Conversely, I recommend people stay away from online dating, at least in the beginning. The apps can sometimes be dark places — oftentimes, the person on the other end may be married. They can work, to be sure, but just be careful.

What is the one thing people going through a divorce should be open to changing?

People going through a divorce should slow down. There’s no rush to meet the next person. Most of my clients are in their 40s and 50s with many years left and lots of love to give. Spend some time on introspection first. Also, open yourself up to new experiences. Maybe you’ve spent the past several years or decades in a rut, uninterested in traveling or trying new things. Now is the time to change that.

If you had a close friend come to you for advice after a divorce, what are five things you would advise in order to survive and thrive after the divorce?

1. Go out and socialize. You don’t have to date — just meet people and have fun.

2. Show your kids positivity. They are dealing with their own pain around the divorce. It’s your job to comfort them, not the other way around.

3. Spend quality time with your kids. It’s important to spend one-on-one time with each child, rather than just time as a group. This can be tough when custody is split, but always make time to bond individually — because each kid processes a divorce differently.

4. Hit the gym. There are so many benefits to working out. You’ll feel better, you’ll develop a routine, and you’ll meet new people.

5. Move on. Divorce brings up a lot of emotions, many of them unpleasant. There’s no reason to let them linger. Instead, make compromises, settle the case, and move on.

The stress of a divorce can take a toll on both one’s mental and emotional health. In your opinion or experience, what are a few things people going through a divorce can do to alleviate this pain and anguish?

Without exception, I always recommend clients start — or at least try — therapy. The aftermath of a divorce is the perfect time to look inward. Maybe you’ll only go for a session or two, or maybe it will become a life-long habit. Either way, give it a shot.

Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources related to this topic that you would recommend to our readers? 

I read and listen to a lot. My two favorite authors are Bill Bryson and Erik Larson. I recently read “Bad Therapy” by Abigail Shrier and “The Anxious Generation” by Jonathan Haidt, and highly recommend them both — especially if you’re a parent.

I listen to “Honestly,” a podcast by Bari Weiss about politics and current affairs. And I’m addicted to “All-In,” a podcast by four venture capitalists that covers everything from finance and tech to playing poker. 

This article was published by Authority Magazine and can be viewed here.

×
Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the Newsroom, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates.

Estate planning for divorcing couples
Atty Bruggemann of Dimopoulos Bruggemann: Five Thi...