Man fights for stake in business after filing for divorce

When it comes to a high-asset divorce, one of the most problematic parts of the process is property division. This is especially true if the couple owns a family business or if one spouse married into the business. That’s because, if the couple decides to separate, the worth of the business must also be separated, which can be tricky depending on when the business was started and how much the business has appreciated.

But what can complicate property division even more is when one spouse believes that illegal actions are preventing them from obtaining their full assets from a business. Our Arizona readers can see this playing out in a New York high-asset divorce where accusations of unsavory business practices have led to even more litigation.

Some here in Phoenix may have heard about the contentious divorce between real-estate mogul Joseph Rose and his soon-to-be ex-wife, Wendi Rose. According to reports, the couple separated in 2010 then filed for divorce this year. But Joseph, who has a stake in Wendi’s father’s real estate company, says his soon-to-be ex-father-in-law has partaken in behaviors that are making the divorce more contentious.

In Joseph’s civil lawsuit against his soon-to-be ex-father-in-law, he claims that he is being strong-armed out of the company by significantly reducing his stake in the company and cutting him out of business deals. These practices could reduce the amount of money he receives during property division, which is decided in New York similarly to here in Arizona.

But if a judge rules in favor of his civil claim, he may receive the proper valuation he deserves in the divorce. The hope though is that this piece of litigation does not further complicate the couple’s divorce proceedings but rather resolves much of the problems they are encountering.

Source: The New York Post, “Real-estate family tangled in prickly divorce,” Julia Marsh and Laura Italiano, May 1, 2014

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