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Former governor, wife of 26 years announce divorce agreement

When a married couple goes through a divorce in Minnesota, the parties have to divide their marital property in a way that meets standards of fairness under state law. This process is known as property division, or asset division. It's rarely easy, but it may be most difficult in high asset divorces - divorces in which the marital property includes complicated assets like retirement accounts and ownership stakes in a business.

Recently, some reporters were taken by surprise when former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his longtime wife, Silda Wall, announced that they had reached agreement on all issues in their divorce just a few weeks after quietly announcing that they were ending their 26-year marriage.

Spitzer was a rising political star until he resigned the governorship after admitting that he had visited prostitutes. Silda stood by his side at one humiliating press conference in the midst of that scandal, instantly becoming a symbol of long-suffering spouses everywhere.

Spitzer and Wall's children are adults, and money issues were reportedly the only ones to be resolved in the couple's divorce. Spitzer campaigned unsuccessfully for New York City controller last year, but has a net worth that has been estimated at $50 million. Wall runs an equity firm. Together they owned a $4 million estate.

The couple's divorce was originally filed as contested, which prompted some reporters to expect a big court battle, and perhaps more scandal. The announcement of an agreement seemed to put an end to the drama.

It can be very difficult to come to an agreement on dividing complex assets, but high asset divorces don't necessarily have to be high drama divorces. Minnesota attorneys with experience in many aspects of family law can help people stand up for their interests in a divorce without contributing to a toxic atmosphere that makes it difficult to reach an agreement.

Source: New York Daily News, "Eliot Spitzer and longtime wife Silda Wall file divorce papers," Barbara Ross, Brian Niemietz and Dareh Gregorian, Jan. 15, 2014

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