When two people choose to end their marriage, there are a number of decisions that must be made. In a high-end divorce, there may be millions of dollars in assets at stake. In many cases in Illinois, a couple is unable to reach an agreement regarding how to fairly split the wealth, and a judge has to hand down a ruling dictating who gets what. As a recent case illustrates, more factors play into that decision than just the amount of money at stake.
A New York attorney claims that his ex-wife publicly attacked him throughout the course of their seven-year divorce battle. Among the assets involved in the dispute were $400,000 in jewelry, a $4.5 million Bridgehampton summer home and a $4.4 million Manhattan townhouse. In addition to receiving $21,000 a month in spousal and child support, a judge ruled the woman would receive half of the sales of the couple’s assets.
However, the judge said that because the woman publicly berated her husband, she contributed to his loss of income. The ex-wife told the New York Post, for example, that the attorney refused to pay for his daughter’s $12,000 hearing aids but spend $215,000 on a diamond ring for his new fiancée. Due to the public attacks, the attorney claimed he lost clients and therefore had a diminished income, and the judge agreed. Instead of awarding the ex-wife half of his $5 million partnership in his law firm, the judge gave the woman just $855,000.
Anyone who is going through a divorce that requires a complex property division should consult with an attorney. A lawyer can offer professional guidance on an individual’s right to marital assets as well as give advice regarding behaviors that could affect the outcome of a case.
Source: New York Post, “Judge rules divorcee ‘damaged’ ex’s career – slashes $2.5M payout,” Julia Marsh, April 8, 2014