Kevin Qualls Family Law
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Former New York governor to pay millions to his ex-wife

California couples with a high net worth may be interested in the recent emergence of legal documents detailing the terms for property division in Eliot Spitzer's divorce. Reportedly, Spitzer's wife will receive a large financial package from Spitzer, a former New York governor, in accordance with the couple's postnuptial agreement. The high-profile couple filed for divorce in January 2014.

The postnuptial agreement stipulates that Spitzer's ex-wife will keep the couple's home on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Moreover, Spitzer will pay his ex-wife a post-tax sum of $7.5 million as well as $240,000 per year in spousal maintenance. According to documents, she is to receive the maintenance until she either dies or remarries.

Postnuptial agreements are contracts into which couples enter after they are married, and they often stipulate terms for property division and spousal support in the event of a divorce. In this way, postnuptial agreements may serve as a blueprint for divorce proceedings and typically require two attorneys, one to represent the interests of each spouse.

These agreements may be advantageous insofar as they help spouses protect their interests and secure their lifestyles after a divorce. The key is to retain the counsel of a family law attorney. The lawyer may properly establish non-community property as such, settle allegations of hiding assets or failing to provide full financial disclosure, and accurately valuate complex assets, including real estate, family-owned businesses, private practices and art collections. Leaving these matters to be resolved by a judge may be a precarious proposition for high-asset couples.

Drafting a postnuptial agreement may be a time-consuming and complex process. Yet, the contract is not enforceable unless it is executed properly.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Eliot Spitzer To Pay Ex-Wife Silda Millions In Divorce Settlement", Brittany Wong, April 28, 2014

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