Could your special skills affect reduce your property split?

by Kate Marr on September 13, 2011

An article published on 3 August 2011 in MX reported that a New York State Supreme Court Judge banned evidence in a divorce case of a billionaire, that aimed to prove he was an “innate genius” whose spouse had no part in his financial success.  The husband sought to submit evidence from psychological experts who would vouch for his intellect.  The property pool that was acquired during the marriage with his wife of 30 years equated to $500,000,000.

Generally, when dealing with long relationships, it can be difficult to argue that contributions of each of the parties are not equal.  Whilst this is not the Court’s starting point it, can be difficult in arguing that contributions of one person are greater when determining a property split, compared to the other.

When dealing with big property pools, some argue that contributions should be assessed after careful consideration of the special skills used to acquire and maintain the value of the property pool.

A special skills argument could be a party’s intellect, entrepreneurial ability or their exceptional skill has increased the property pool and that person should be rewarded for their extra contribution.  The Australian Family Law Courts have upheld this notion in some cases.

Ultimately, the Family Law Courts is a discretionary jurisdiction, whereby even if a party’s contribution is greater, the Court can make any adjustments to the property division for the Orders to be just and equitable.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: