Washington residents may have heard that one component of a lawsuit filed by Patricia Cohen against her husband Steven Cohen, founder of SAC Capital, was recently dismissed by a district court judge in New York. However, fraud charges brought by Ms. Cohen against her former husband were allowed to continue. Part of her original complaint dealt with civil RICO charges, which were eventually dismissed by the judge hearing the case. The fraud charges are tied to her belief that Mr. Cohen knowingly hid money that he received due to an apartment investment deal from her.
A recent appellate court decision may impart valuable advice to Washington residents wanting to prevent protracted dispute over complex asset division during divorce. The litigants were a couple who executed a prenuptial agreement to exempt all gifts, inheritances and personal business profits from equitable property division in the event of marital dissolution. During their marriage, the woman quit her career to stay home with the couple's four children, and the man built a telecom business that became successful within a year of their high asset divorce. When he later defaulted on court-ordered spousal and child support payments of more than $4,500, the ex-wife went back to court. Her ex-husband pleaded lack of income caused by no longer having an ownership interest in the company and subsistence solely on gifts from his former business partner and in-laws.