Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Much Money Does One Person Need?

I'm always shocked and appalled when I hear about people who ask the courts to provide them with unreasonably large divorce settlements, especially in what I consider to be a short term marriage. For most people, if you haven't been married for at least ten (10) years, alimony is the exception and not the rule and settlements are based strictly on what assets the marriage has obtained during the marital period. I was forwarded a story by one of my employees about a woman who was married in 2002 and is seeking to obtain a settlement that would support her need to have $53,000.00 per week for her living expenses. Her list of weekly expenses she has, among other things, $8,000.00 for travel expenses and $4,500.00 for clothing. The issue is that she signed a Post-Nuptial Agreement whereby she would get $43 Million and she wants to set that agreement aside. Some lawyers seem to think that she would get far less than $43 million if the agreement were to be set aside, and given the length of the marriage, I would tend to think that would be the case. Now I'm sure that this woman believes that she cannot live off of less than $53,000.00 per month and that she has a major concern about burning through her divorce settlement in 16 years. However, the real question is whether there are enough marital assets that entitle her to a $43 million settlement in the first place. If there are only $50 million worth of marital assets, she is arguably only entitled to $25 million in a settlement. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out, but I have a suspicion that Marie Douglas-David is going to wish that she had taken the first offer of settlement, because it is usually the best one in divorce. Be careful what you wish is a mantra that holds true often, especially in a divorce.

To read the article that this blog is based upon, see:

No comments: