Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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Why would anyone refuse nearly $1 billion in a divorce?

Media outlets all over the world are having a field day reporting on a divorcee who refused to accept a $975 Million check from her ex-husband as a settlement of their divorce. While many local St. Paul residents who have gone through divorce proceedings would have gladly accepted the money to put the turmoil to bed, there is one critical reason for her to initially reject it. It was not enough.

The women refusing the money is married to an Oklahoma oil magnate allegedly worth billions of dollars. As a result, she believes she is entitled to additional funds, and is engaged in an appeal to do just that. While viewed by many as greedy, divorce resolutions are complex animals that should never be resolved in haste.

Too often, a local Minnesotan will get divorced and quickly acquiesce to a large cash payment, say $50,000 or maybe even $250,000. While this may seem like a lot of money and a good start on a new life, it could represent only a fraction of what you are entitled to.

For instance, many couples have significant assets in retirement accounts and home equity. While your checking account may not be flush, there may be other, less liquid assets, of which you are entitled to 50%. Moreover, child support and alimony may be additional considerations apart from property division.

Therefore, you should never jump into a divorce settlement without being apprised of all available assets, no matter how attractive that cash offer may be. An experienced family law attorney can help you review relevant information and make an informed decision so there are no regrets years after the split becomes official.

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