June 11, 2009

Dissatisfaction With Property Distribution in the Current Economy

The New York Times published an article regarding a top London divorce attorney named Raymondy Tooth. The article describes how Mr. Tooth makes a living representing the wives of wealthy British men.
The article describes a case in which Mr. Tooth represented Ms. Myerson, whose husband was worth around $44 million at the time of the divorce. Ms. Myerson elected to take less than half of the assets in case and some properties, while Mr. Myerson received $21.7 million worth of stock in his investment fund. Mr. Myerson was very disappointed when, some months later, the global economic downturn reduced his stock holdings by 90%. He filed a petition with the court to overturn the property distribution and make his ex-wife return the property that she received. The court declined to do so.
Under Oregon law, property distributions in a divorce cannot be modified post-judgment, as opposed to support awards and custody/parenting time determinations. It is crucial to have competent legal counsel’s advice in deciding on a strategy for division of assets. Mr. Tooth considered the volatility of the market, while Mr. Myerson just looked at the bottom line, to his misfortune.
If you have questions about the division of assets and property awards in an Oregon divorce, contact Stephens & Margolin LLP for a consultation.