Divorce proceedings have been known to take on interesting narratives. As the emotions run high and spouses recognize the assets at stake, finger-pointing and story-telling can run rampant. A recent case involving the son of David Mandelbaum, a Vikings' co-owner, though, presented a novel storyline.
The scenario began when the wealthy Mandelbaum's wife of more than 20 years filed for divorce in New Jersey. Like Minnesota, New Jersey is an equitable division state, meaning marital assets must be divided in a fair and equitable fashion. Mandelbaum's argument, though, was that he was never married at all. According to him, the couple did not get their marriage license until a few days after the ceremony, a technical violation of New Jersey law. Since there was no marriage, Mandelbaum argued, there can be no divorce or equitable distribution of assets he claimed were his alone.
The benefits of such a strategy, of course, would be to divest his wife of an ownership interest in the family fortune and leave her with nothing but a claim to child support payments. The wife, as expected, countered with 20-plus years of evidence that the couple was in fact married, including an anniversary card from Mandelbaum with an admission that after 20 years of marriage he would marry her all over again.
Despite the frivolous nature of the argument, tenuous positions like these are routinely taken in divorce proceedings for leverage, especially in a high asset divorce. Local St. Paul family law lawyers have seen it all and will not allow their clients to be pressured by unsupported positions. These attorneys will strengthen a divorcing party's bargaining position by separating fact from fiction and putting forth an objective analysis of likely outcomes. This knowledge has allowed hundreds of spouses to avoid taking unnecessary hits in a divorce.
Source: Forbes, "How Far Some Men Will Go To Get Out Of Dividing Assets in Divorce," Jeff Landers, Oct. 22, 2014