Real Lessons Learned from Real Housewives’ Lisa Hochsteins Divorce

Frequently we hear of or read about a celebrity’s divorce and the messiness that can accompany a public marriage’s break-up. Lisa of the Real Housewives of Miami (RHOM) is no different.

Bravo TV’s housewives’ shows seem to have a divorce happening in every city in which they film and in every season of filming. Tamara and Simon. Luann and Tom. Ramona and Mario. Porsha and Kordell. Cynthina and Peter. The list could continue.

News from the Real Housewives of Miami in May 2022 focuses on another failed marriage, the marriage of former Playboy model Lisa Hochstein, age 39, and successful plastic surgeon, Dr. Lenny Hochstein, age 56. The couple married in 2009.

What can we learn from another failed housewives’ marriage that applies to “real world” or regular people? As fans pour over details of the couple’s divorce, they may be surprised to find that some of what they read may apply to their own relationships with spouses and exes as well. While we don’t represent either of the Hochsteins, we can make some speculations.

Often, many failed marriages reveal that finances were a source of difficulties for the couple. This is not likely the case for the Hochsteins. Husband Lenny Hochstein’s net worth is listed as over $50 million dollars. He is noted to be one of the most successful plastic surgeons in Florida, focusing his work on breast enhancements, facial rejuvenation, and body contouring. He has been working for over 20 years. The home he shared with his wife, Lisa of RHOM fame, is estimated to be worth $40-$50 million. It is a lavish, 9 bedroom, 20,000 square foot home on the exclusive and spectacular Star Island in Miami, Florida.

It is easy in this case to speculate that perhaps money struggles were not the source of all problems for the Hochsteins. However, as is the case in many divorces, the martial home will likely need to be sold and the proceeds divided. The massive home was built during their marriage. Even if it sells on the low end, just for $40 million dollars, both parties will net substantial amounts to roll over perhaps into a new home, allowing each a fresh start.

So what could be some of the reasons for the strife in the Hochstein marriage? Both parties have publicly admitted that much stress was endured as they struggled to have children.  There are reports that Lisa suffered from 3 miscarriages, and she unsuccessfully underwent 4 IVF treatments. Lisa has suffered both physically and emotionally. One can only speculate as to the toll that these pregnancy difficulties placed on both of the parties. They were eventually successful in having 2 children, a son and a daughter, both born via surrogates.

As with any couple with minor children, the Hochsteins will need to resolve custody and visitation for their children. They will need to determine if they will share legal custody and physical custody. Their children are 6 and 2. Custody issues and visitation schedules need to include language regarding: where and with whom the children will live; how holidays and school breaks will be addressed; school enrollments; extracurricular activities; medical treatments; travel limitations; which parent will hold passports; bed times; electronic visitations; therapy; religious training; etc. The issues regarding how the children’s custody will be addressed are issues that all divorcing parents face – regardless of their parents’ fame, occupations, or bank accounts.

Parents can have the most input on their children’s custody issues if they can resolve the issues through an out-of-court agreement. This contract might be referred to as a co-parenting agreement or be included in a separation agreement. If the parents cannot agree, of course the matters regarding the children can be resolved by a judge. But it is intimidating to think that a judge who really does not know the children nor the parents can make all the decisions related to them and their upbringing.

It is not a stretch to assume that Lenny will likely be paying child support – he is the breadwinner, despite any earnings Lisa receives from RHOM or other sources. Child support is based on the earnings of the parents and the lifestyle of the children, and the parent with more income is almost always responsible for child support.

Other likely stressors for the Hochsteins involved a prior separation and the husband’s admission to a past emotional affair. An emotional affair typically involves a close and emotional intimacy with another person while not physically consummating the relationship. Some people refer to an emotional affair as an “affair of the heart”. Research shows that females are more likely to fall into an emotional affair while males are more likely to engage in a physical relationship with another. Regardless of the statistics, studies support the conclusion that there is an emotional cost of an emotional affair on both spouses.

Even though you may not live in a $50 million mansion and make millions of dollars a year from your successful plastic surgery business, you can appreciate the complexities that the Hochsteins faced in their marriage. A 15 year age gap, struggles to have children, an emotional affair, all while also filming a reality tv show – having a camera crew in their home, capturing their every move and facial expression. Wait – are there even facial expressions to observe in a plastic surgeon’s home?

All jokes aside, this case is even more complicated by the fact that the husband was quickly seen with another younger woman and he has already admitted that he has moved on. Many divorces we handle do involve another person, either from an emotional and/or a physical affair, so it is not surprising to see in this instance.

Martial issues know no economic boundaries. Regardless of the incomes and professions involved, the spouses need to address child support and custody, property division, and likely spousal support. These are very common issues in all divorces, though in this case the amount of money changing hands might be slightly less common.

With any hope, the Hochsteins can come to a private agreement and resolve their issues without the need for a judge to resolve these matters. We encourage settlements in many of our cases – privacy and less money spent on litigation is usually a win-win for all involved.

  • Fox 50
  • cnn
  • cnbc
  • The new york times
  • Good Morning America