Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Split Ends: What Happens When the Rich Divorce
$plit ends By LINDA STASI Last Updated: 11:37 AM, March 29, 2011 Posted: 11:11 PM, March 28, 2011
The most shocking thing about tonight's quite interesting CNBC documentary, "Divorce Wars," is the discovery that for insanely greedy newly-rich people, a bad divorce will cost them even more than their out-of-control, million-dollar-plus weddings!
Correspondent Melissa Francis takes a look at some of the most repulsively fascinating -- and expensive -- divorces of recent times including the divorce of the guy who brought us PayPal, Elon Musk. According to divorce-attorney-to-the-rich Raoul Felder, now that we're in the age of no-fault community property splits, divorces are no longer about which spouses cheat -- but about how spouses try to cheat each other out of the shared assets. Take the Musks, for example. He and his future wife, Justine, met when they were in college. Shortly thereafter, they moved in together into a terrible college apartment with two roommates and three dogs. They got married after he struck it rich, and he had her sign a post-nup agreement. Eight years and five kids later, they split and then all hell broke loose. He was worth billions, and she had agreed to a $750,000 post-nup pay out. Fair? Wrong? Incredibly greedy? How much does one guy need?
Then, there's the infamous case of Margaret Spenlinhauer, the Connecticut housewife and mother of scores of kids whose very rich husband immediately seemed to suddenly be not very wealthy after they split up. It took 18 -- yes, 18 -- years for her to personally find the money he'd hidden. And his deception amounted to fraud -- a criminal offense. Another rich guy's wife snooped in his computer, opened his journal and discovered that he considered her an unfit mother. What did she do? Loaded up his computer with kiddie porn and then took it to her attorney. Millions of dollars and a federal investigation later revealed that she had loaded it all up during one week -- when he was out of town -- and then erased the memory so it couldn't be traced back to her. The result? It was so dastardly a deed that she even lost custody of her own kids.
But, seriously, what kind of idiot keeps a journal on his computer? A psycho, that's who.
As Felder says, "If you go into a marriage without a pre-nup, you don't need a lawyer, you need a psychiatrist."