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An expensive divorce could have been even more expensive

Many St. Clair Shores, Michigan, couples start their married lives together with sacred vows in which they pledge eternal devotion to each other. Love, fun and adventure tend to be themes of weddings and honeymoons. However, the main theme of divorce is often cold hard cash, with one divorcing spouse seeking to part with as little of it as possible and the other divorcing spouse seeking to get as much of it as possible.

This dynamic can be witnessed in divorces across the country, sometimes with staggering sums involved, such as in recent case of man who founded a cancer center and the woman who is now his ex-wife. The two of them had a signed a legally enforceable premarital contract, and though that strongly affected the final resolution of their case, it did not stop them from arguing right up to the point of that resolution.

A key matter of dispute was the amount of alimony that the man would pay the woman. The two had agreed on a temporary amount of $68,500 every month, which is more than many hardworking people make in an entire year. However, the woman wanted a net amount of $400,000 from the man every month. Instead, according to the final ruling in the divorce, she was awarded the amount of $27,500 after taxes every month. While still a huge amount, it is still hundreds of thousands of dollars less than she sought.

She also got a $6.52 million lump sum, which was to pay her for her interest in 10 different entities that the couple owned or co-owned. She also got to retain her 401(k), two motorcycles, a Porsche Carrera, jewelry and other material items. While both the woman and the man seem likely to enjoy luxurious lives long after the ink on the divorce decree is dry, this case shows how important it is to have proper legal representation if choosing to get a premarital contract when a marriage is about to begin and when getting a divorce.

Source: Daily Herald, "Cancer Center founder's wife gets $6.5M, $27,500 a month in divorce," Harry Hitzeman, Sep. 13, 2017

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