NY Court Enforces Prenup, Leaves Wife with “Only” $1.6 Million in Divorce Settlement

February 4, 2016

An appeals court recently issued an important ruling and enforced a prenuptial agreement in a high-profile divorce case involving a NY hedge fund manager.

Jacob Gottlieb runs Vision Asset Management, a biotech firm with a reported value of $3.8 billion. In 2012, 44-year-old Gottlieb filed for divorce from 37-year-old Alexandra Lumiere Gottlieb, his wife. At the time of the divorce proceedings, the couple had been married for five years. When the couple got married, Lumiere signed a prenup, something Gottlieb had an interest in seeking at the time because his net worth was approximately $100 million.

Now Lumiere is challenging the validity of the prenup in the high-net-worth divorce. In a Manhattan court, Lumiere argued that the prenuptial agreement should be declared invalid because she was allegedly pressured into signing the contract. Lumiere argued that she only accepted the prenup because she was pregnant with the couple’s first child at the time of the prenup negotiations and she did not want to risk giving birth to the child out of wedlock. Moreover, Lumiere alleged that Gottlieb “took advantage of her diminished emotional and physical state” during the negotiations and exploited her vulnerabilities by insulting and threatening her throughout the discussions. Beyond that, Lumiere said in court, the prenup should be ruled invalid because Gottlieb failed to provide a full financial disclosure before the contract was signed.

Now a New York divorce court has ruled in the case and declared that the prenup will stand. As a result, Lumiere is set to earn $1.6 million in the divorce settlement – a nice amount under normal circumstances, but a far cry from the $54 million Gottlieb reportedly earns annually. Moreover, Lumiere will not receive any financial interest in the couple’s apartment in Central Park West, which is said to be valued at $30 million.

The NY appeals court essentially said “buyer beware”: since Lumiere should have known that her husband was miserly, she is responsible for signing the prenuptial agreement. Specifically, the court noted that Lumiere had every reason to expect “that the marriage to Gottlieb required her to accept a hard bargain, given his considerable wealth.”

For more information about this fascinating divorce case, read the New York Post article, “Wife Stuck with Prenup and ‘Only’ $1.6M of Hubby’s $54M Salary.”

If you are a New York resident involved in the divorce process and worried about alimony or spousal support, you should speak to a qualified divorce attorney immediately. Jonathan D. Katz is an experienced divorce lawyer who can protect your rights throughout the divorce process. Contact Mr. Katz today to schedule a consultation about your case.

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