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Hospital founder, ex-wife, in extended property and alimony fight

Married individuals throughout the Mohawk Valley can own property jointly with their spouses or separately as separate property. How property is classified during a divorce can influence which party receives the property or determine whether the asset must be divided and split. When one party to a divorce possesses more wealth or assets or has a higher earning capacity than the other, then a court may award the less wealthy party alimony to help ease their post-divorce financial burden.

A high profile post-divorce property and alimony story is currently unfolding between the founder of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America and his ex-wife. The former couple's marriage ended last year but they still have not resolved how much alimony the ex-wife should receive since the parties entered into a prenuptial agreement prior to their wedding.

The prenuptial agreement stipulated a sum that the wife would receive if the couple's marriage ended; however, it also included a provision that stated the sum could be modified if their marriage endured for more than seven years. The marriage lasted for more than two decades and the wife is seeking around $400,000 per month in spousal support.

The wife also contends that she played an active role in her husband's business and that business affiliates managed her private bank accounts and credit cards. The intermixing of separate business assets with assets that may be classified as marital could convert the separate assets into marital assets as well.

The financial side of a divorce can be very messy. When separate property, marital property, and business property all become mixed within the lives of married people, it can be difficult to sort out how the assets should be divided. Alimony determinations can be made based on a party's ability to support themselves, and the division of property can influence a divorcing party's capacity to thrive alone.

Source: chicagotribune.com, "Ex-wife in divorce trial says she had active role in husband's business," Amanda Marrazzo, Jan. 19, 2017

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