Many Connecticut couples who have been together for several years may believe that they have worked together to build up their wealth and that their success should be attributed to both parties. However, in a case involving two lobbyists in Washington, D.C., much of the argument over the couple’s divorce and property division is to which spouse to attribute their success.
The husband in the case says that his wife commanded only a salary of $55,000 at the time they married. However, her lobbying business to which he says he was instrumental in growing now produces several million dollars in revenues. He says that he was wealthy before the couple was married, and he points to several media outlets that discussed his success prior to the couple’s marriage in support of this argument. He also asserts that she has used his name and his reputation in order to advance her own career. Additionally, he says that he taught her all about the lobbying industry, based on multiple decades of his experience in the field.
However, the wife has a much different story. She says that they cooperated and they used their relationship in order to increase their joint success. She also says that a large art collection owned by one or both of them was another example of a joint endeavor. She is asking the court to prohibit her husband from selling or donating any of the artwork unless they both agree in writing to any of these arrangements.
The issue of property division is often a difficult one during divorce proceedings regardless of the net worth of the couple. It is assumed that the lawyers that each of the lobbyists have separately retained will attempt to negotiate an agreement.
Source: Politico , “Heather and Tony Podesta divorce documents released“, Tal Kopan and Lucy McCalmont , April 11, 2014