As a noted in a previous post, there have been several high-profile instances reported in the media in recent months of long-divorced spouses returning to court and seeking to renegotiate settlements because their financial circumstances have changed. Now, from New York, comes another version of this: According to a recent Associated Press report, a Family Court judge in Manhattan has ruled that a prominent New York lawyer can’t recover money he paid his ex-wife that was lost as part of the Bernard Madoff Scandal.
The division of assets in Steven Simkin’s 2006 divorce included a $2.7 million payment the attorney gave his ex-wife as half of the value of their investment account with Madoff. We now know, of course, that Madoff has essentially pocketed the money. As a result, three and a half years later, Simkin’s ex has cash but he is left holding a worthless investment account. Last week a judge ruled that Simkin’s ex-wife, Laura Blank, does not have to return the money her husband paid her.
As is so often the case, this high-profile dispute can serve as a cautionary tale for the rest of us. An experienced Orange County divorce attorney can advise clients on the best ways to protect their assets during the process of dividing up California community property. Before the division becomes final it is important that due diligence is conducted to make sure all assets are properly valued. A Southern California divorce lawyer can help you make your way through this complicated process regardless of the size of the size of the estate involved.
AP at The Huffington Post: Steven Simkin Can’t Recover Madoff millions from ex-wife Laura Blank: Judge