Wife Granted $184,000,000 in Equitable Distribution

A wife was granted $184 million as equitable distribution after trial in a Chicago divorce action. This equitable distribution award is reported to be the largest in history.

Charles Meyer reports in the Pennsylvania Law Blog that  “this is a rags to riches story, as the parties came to the United States from Eastern Europe with only $500.  Husband became a huge success in the energy business, and later sold his business for several hundred million dollars.

At issue in the case was the wife’s contribution to the wealth.

David Sarnacki writes in Domestic Diversions that:

They would walk together after dinners, and Michael would share details of his work, looking for empathy, advice or merely an open ear,” Rosenfeld wrote in court filings. “For many years, their marital partnership flourished. Michael provided sustenance and security, and Maya provided love, support, advice and counsel

While the numbers  may seem obscene, the result seems just.   The reported facts reveal that the marriage was a true economic partnership. All of the wealth was created during the long term marriage through the joint efforts of the couple. It seems only fair that the marital property be divided equally.   Quite frankly, even if the division of marital assets should not have been equal, would a 60-40 split  of  the nearly $400 million marital estate really made that much of a difference to these parties?

It is, disappointing that this couple did not follow the lead of Blixseths, who divided their fortune amicably over a bottle of wine.


19 Responses

  1. linda strand
    My divorce was in 1999 after 21 yrs of abuse. I raised /homeschooled 3 children, contributed as much if not more $ to the home. Nothing was settled at the divorce. I allowed him to live in the home as the youngest was 15 and still living in the home. I have been trying to get him to buy me out of my half of the home for yrs now. I have finally taken him to civil court, upstate NY. I am now told that I can only have 1/2 of the value of the home of 1999, the divorce date, and not half of the value now. This is 1/8th of the value of the home now. If there was nothing signed, at the 99 divorce and we are both still owners on the deed, does the judge have to only allow me 1/2 of the 99 value? How do I ask for my fair value of half of todays date? Can I at least ask for interest of the $ he has kept of my equity since 99? Please help me know how to approach this. Trial for civil court is Oct 2007. thanks for your help Linda
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