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One the largest divorce judgments in U.S. history appealed

Florida residents may find it interesting to know that the former spouse of a billionaire who made his fortune in the oil industry has taken steps to appeal a divorce decree that awarded her a divorce settlement in the amount of about a billion dollars. She claimed that the appeal was necessary because she listed at least 78 errors that the presiding judge that issued the divorce decree allegedly made, which caused the judge to issue what she considers the grossly undervalued judgment.

Though the one billion dollar award is one of the largest divorce judgments in U.S. history, the billionaire's former spouse contends in her appeal that the court incorrectly accepted a revised history of her former husband's corporate earnings that erroneously dated major profit making moves that her husband made to before the couple's 26-year-long marriage began. She alleges that all that profit actually took place while they were married.

Her former husband's lawyers argued that since those earnings were accrued before they ever got married they should be considered as separate property rather than marital property. She was awarded about six percent of the marital property, which was valued at about 18 billion dollars. Though her former husband's legal counsel consider the award fair, she has deemed the one billion award as not equitable.

Property division in high asset divorce family law cases can get complex. In such cases, it is important that both parties be represented by legal counsel to increase the possibility of a fair settlement. Valuation of a business during a divorce can be a complicated but is necessary component. In many cases, accounting experts and real estate appraisers may have to be used to ascertain the value of the business.

Source: Reuters, "Oil magnate's ex-wife slams $1 billion divorce ruling in appeal," Joshua Schneyer, December 5, 2014

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