When Americans Elena and Peter Marano separated in 2007 after twenty years of marriage they each received one-half of their net worth of $20 million dollars. End of story, right? Not so fast.
Between 2007 and 2010 Mr. Marano’s interest in certain real estate investments in London England, where they had lived for most of their marriage, plunged from a value of $88 million dollars to a net loss of $10 million, an astonishing decrease, all on account of the world-wide economic disaster of 2008 and 2009.
As a result of Mr. Marano’s stupefying losses, his ex-wife was ordered to pay him an additional $5 million dollars from her share of the family pot. Needless to say, she took great objection to this outcome and launched an appeal of the order to pay.
Two year prior to their separation, Ms. Marano’s father, American entrepreneur John Bowes died leaving a substantial estate. He was the creator of both the hula hoop and the frisbee, which he sold to toy company Mattel in 1994 for $250 million. However, even before his passing, Ms. Marano was the beneficiary of a significant trust fund set up by him.
Ms. Marano argued that it was “monstrously unfair” that she should be compelled to pay her ex for his business losses, suggesting that if the market recovered he would reap the original value of the assets, but she would not. Her counsel suggested a more reasonable approach would be to sit on the assets for a further five years, then sell them and order the parties to share equally in any profit or loss.
After all she argued, if the real estate investments had increased in value from the date of separation to the date the assets were divided, she would not likely have shared in their uptick in value.
She also argued that she had new evidence that would prove the investments had already increased from $10 million in the red to between $4 million and $15 million in the last two years.
Unfortunately for her, the Appeal Court refused to admit her new evidence of value and dismissed her appeal of the order.
Not unlike other vastly wealthy couples, the court learned that the Maranos’ spent over $1 million dollars each on legal fees. It seems to be the thing to do these days: Marry, become obscenely rich and then spend a couple of million dollars fighting over your millions.
There is something wrong with this picture…
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang