The importance of a post-nup within high-asset divorce
For New York couples who enjoy a high level of wealth, protecting that wealth becomes a priority. In the case of divorce, both sides seek to retain a level of financial security. One of the best ways to ensure that a divorce proceeds fairly and with few surprises is to draft a post-nuptial agreement. These contracts can outline the manner in which assets would be divided in the event of a divorce.
One high-profile example of the need for a post-nuptial agreement lies in the recently settled divorce between former governor Eliot Spitzer and his wife, Silda. The couple was the center of a great deal of media attention in 2008, when it was revealed that Spitzer was a client within a high-dollar prostitution ring. At that time, Silda stood by his side as he announced his resignation as governor. Despite that show of support, the couple filed for divorce in early 2014.
Details released state that Silda will receive a payment of $7.5 million within the divorce settlement. In addition, she will be paid spousal support in the amount of $240,000 per year, to continue unless she remarries or predeceases her husband. She will also retain the family home, and will be given $100,000 per year to support the charitable organizations of her choosing.
The couple had a postnuptial agreement in place, which likely guided much of the settlement details. There is no information available as to the specifics of that agreement. It is also unknown if the postnup was drafted prior to the governor’s indiscretions in 2008. However, these legal contracts can be drafted in such a way as to spell out various property division strategies for different scenarios. For example, spouses can agree to one amount if the marriage ends by mutual agreement, and another if infidelity is the cause of the split.
A post-nuptial agreement is a powerful tool for high-asset families. It can give a spouse who holds a lower earning capacity the ability to retain financial stability if a divorce takes place. It can also serve to protect the primary breadwinner from unfair financial losses due to the property division process. New York spouses who wish to learn more should research the matter in detail to discover if a postnup is a good fit for their financial planning needs.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Eliot Spitzer To Pay Ex-Wife Silda Millions In Divorce Settlement“, Brittany Wong, April 28, 2014