A 99$ Million Divorce

Some of you may have been following the story about the chairman of United Technologies, George David, who is in the process of getting a divorce from his wife, Marie Douglas-David.

George David is the former chief executive of UTC, and he and his wife signed a postnuptial agreement in 2005. Prenuptial agreements are far more common, and David’s wife is disputing the validity of the postnuptial agreement, saying she was coerced into signing.

Marie Douglas-David is asking for $99 million in the divorce, which isn’t quite a third of Davis’ assets estimated at $329 million. The postnuptial agreement that the couple signed in 2005 is valued at approximately $46 million; less than half the amount she’s currently requesting.

Whether you’re rich or middle-class, splitting assets in a divorce can be a tricky and contentious business. Even though this couple has a postnuptial agreement limiting a divorce settlement, she’s still contesting the agreement and asking for more.

No matter how well you think you plan ahead for an eventuality that everyone hopes they’ll never reach, things tend to come up in a divorce.

Maybe she’s angry at the circumstances of the divorce. Maybe she really was coerced, and feels that the agreement she signed is unfair. Or maybe she just wants more of his money. Whatever the reason, things like this happen to ordinary people, too.

Don’t be surprised by a divorce settlement. You never know what your spouse might request until the moment of truth arrives. A good divorce attorney can help you figure out what’s fair, and protect your interests, but you may end up giving more than you expected to give.

At least you’re not likely to face a $99 million divorce, though.