Star Trek Fan May Have Benefited From Mediation

divorce mediationI read an article entitled: “To Boldly Forgo: Trekkie Loses His Painstakingly Recreated Star Trek Flat To Ex-Wife In Divorce,” in the Daily Mail (dated January 27, 2012 and written by Emma Reynolds) about a divorcing man who stands to lose the apartment that he had lovingly converted into a Star Trek flight deck.  This article caught my eye for two reasons:  First, I am a Star Trek fan (I am a nerd, and I am proud).  Second, I believe this man and his wife may have been able to reach a different outcome in mediation (I am a mediator, and I am proud).

The article explains that British resident, Tony Alleyne, converted his apartment into a replica of a Star Trek flight deck over a ten year period as a way to deal with the pain of separating from his wife.  Now the parties are divorcing, and Mr. Alleyne’s wife wants to sell the apartment.  In Arizona, the wife would have the right to make this request because the apartment would be considered a community asset (an asset obtained during the marriage and not by gift or inheritance).  Apparently England has a similar law.

If the parties had mediated their divorce, they may have come up with a solution that allowed Mr. Alleyne to keep the apartment.  Mediation is a way to resolve matters out of Court where the parties, with the aid of a mediator, come up with their own resolution.   In mediation, the parties to a divorce can problem-solve and be more creative than a Court can be.  Further, both parties are motivated to make compromises to reach a full agreement.

Perhaps Mr. Alleyne could have offered ‘the Missus’ other assets or funds as an offset for the apartment, or perhaps he could have refinanced the apartment and paid his wife her half of the equity.  Maybe they could have agreed to delay selling the property for a number of years.  Who knows what solutions would have arisen if they would have sat down to talk with the goal of reaching the best outcome possible for both of them?

While we cannot change the sad turn of events for Mr. Alleyne, we can marvel at the work he did on his apartment – from the doorbell that chimes with the voice of Captain Picard to the very impressive transporter room.  Pictures and the article can be found at:

Alona M. Gottfried is a family law mediator and lawyer in Arizona.  If you have questions about divorce mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or  This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice.  See a legal professional before making legal decisions.

Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
8160 E Butherus Dr, Suite #7 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone: (480) 998-1500