A former American banker living in London recently lost his appeal regarding his claim to a majority share of $225 million in marital assets. The banker made headlines when he demanded that the judge on the case in London place a value on his “genius” and how it had made the banker and his ex-wife millions of dollars.
The American couple were married for twenty years before they separated in 2015. The banker requested 61% of the marital assets, contending that there would be no fortune without his hard work, genius decision-making skills, and “groundbreaking methodologies”.
The judge in the initial divorce case disagreed, finding that the couple should equally divide their multi-million dollar fortune because it was marital property. Specifically, the court found that the couple amassed the fortune by being in the right place at the right time.
The appellate court agreed with the lower court and disagreed with the banker. Finding that the banker over-exaggerated his genius, a three-judge panel found that the banker’s “special contributions” were insignificant to alter the equal division of marital assets. As such, the appellate court decided that the couple should equally divide the $225 million in marital assets.
What Is Florida’s Property Division Law?
Even in a high-asset divorce, Florida uses an “equitable distribution” scheme to divide marital property. An “equitable distribution” does not necessarily mean that the division is “equal”. Rather, “equitable” means that the court will do what it can to make sure that the parties receive enough property to make them more equal after the divorce.
When making a distribution of property, the court considers various factors and weighs them according to the court’s own discretion. The Court may consider the following factors:
- Whether the asset or debt in question is marital
- The contributions either spouse made to the marriage, include monetary or work around the marital residence during the marriage (i.e., staying home to raise the children)
- The parties’ economic situation at the time of divorce
- Whether one party wants to keep certain assets without changing their form (i.e. business interests)
- The parties’ contribution to the accumulation, betterment, and production of income from marital and non-marital property
- Any other factor the court deems necessary to do justice under the circumstances
If you have a high net worth divorce in Tampa, Florida, we invite you to contact our attorneys at the Anton Legal Group, who have more than 30 years of experience with high asset divorces.
We welcome your call today at (813) 443-5249 to schedule an initial consultation.