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Mans Genius Argument Proves Less Than Genius In Divorce Case

When it comes to divorce and the occasional tendency for things to get messy, much of that drama stems from the root of many disputes in all aspects of life: money.

An out-of-state family law case presents a husband’s bold attempt at trying to get out of his divorce with more than the half that the state would generally give him through division of property. Why did he think he deserved more than the standard spouse would get through property division? Well, because he is a “genius.”

According to a New York Times blog, the husband in this unique divorce dispute is an incredibly successful New York financier and overall businessman. (We will not include the names of the involved spouses in this case for the sake of privacy.) He argues that he is owed the majority of the family’s estimated $450 million worth of assets because his personal qualities are what earned the money.

The husband and his divorce attorney worked so hard on that argument that they brought in various psychologists to testify to the rare strengths of the husband’s intellectual qualities. While the judge ultimately didn’t deny that the husband is a talented, gifted man, she ruled that those realities didn’t matter. The wife is still owed an equal amount of assets.

Family courts don’t just look at what each partner literally earned financially during the marriage. The judge supported her ruling based on the system’s rule of looking at what each partner brought to the marriage, the household and family overall. Though the wife in this case didn’t work outside of the home and earn money, her work in the home, with the couple’s child and support of her husband’s work make her a reasonable force behind the couple’s earning potential.

What do you think about this case? Does the husband have a point, or do you think he was out of line in requesting more money out of the marriage because of his “genius?”


The New York Times, (blog): “In Divorce Case, Judge Refuses to Hear Evidence of ‘Genius,’” Peter Lattman, Aug. 4, 2011