Important Lessons From Ex-governor's High Asset Divorce Case

The high asset divorce of an infamous former New York governor from his wife caught the media's attention recently, so it could not be avoided by many Louisville, Kentucky readers. The settlement awarded the wife $7.5 million in cash and the New York City home. The ex-governor was ordered to pay $240,000 annually to his ex-wife until she remarries or dies. Although this divorce case became controversial due to the infidelity of the former governor, it is a better example of important lessons about divorce, financial security, and marital agreements.

"Gray Divorces"

This divorce also exemplifies "gray divorce," which involves people aged 50 and above. In the United States, it was estimated that one in four of all divorce cases in a recent calendar year were for couples ages 50 and over. Although gray divorces usually are spared from child custody conflicts and child support disputes, given that the couple's children should be adults, the end of a marriage this late in life may have a huge impact on the future financial stability of both spouses.

Prenuptial Agreements

In order to secure a spouse's finances, entering a prenuptial agreement may be a great idea. A prenuptial agreement is a written contract that identifies the financial rights and responsibilities of each party. This document addresses any assets owned by either or both parties and identifies properties exempted from the property division upon divorce. It can also shed light on how debts will be settled.

Discussing a premarital agreement with the other partner is usually challenging. Most of the challenges are often associated with the efficiency of the marital contract and guaranteeing that the document is enforceable. Spouses should remember that a prenuptial agreement must be in writing, must involve full disclosure of assets from both parties and must be completed long before the actual marriage ceremony. Otherwise, the document can be nullified, jeopardizing the document's purpose of protecting one party from a post-divorce financial disaster.