Divorces can be lengthy and strenuous when parties have disputes. A lengthy divorce can be magnified when those involved in the divorce have high profile public status and the divorce includes high valued assets. In California, when these types of divorces are not able to be resolved amicably between the parties, the divorcing parties may rely on the court system to reach a divorce settlement.
Congressman Jim McDermott, who does not represent California, publically announced that he filed for divorce from his wife in August of 2011. Initial statements regarding the couple’s divorce indicated the couple sought to have an amicable divorce in an effort to quickly move on from the divorce. The still-pending divorce indicates that the couple’s divorce has gone from amicable to acrimonious.
In the past several months, the divorce has reportedly heated up in the courtroom. The Congressman’s wife has accused the Congressman of concealing assets and obstructing discovery efforts related to financial matters. This issue becomes relevant in regard to the couple’s prenuptial agreement that was signed prior to their marriage in 1997.
Pursuant to the prenuptial agreement, the Congressman’s wife may be entitled to over half of the $2.5 million in joint assets. The Congressman’s wife is challenging the validity of the prenuptial agreement on the grounds that the Congressman concealed assets during the negotiation of the prenuptial agreement. Given the length of the divorce, the presiding judge ordered the Congressman to pay his wife $50,000 to help her cover the expenses she has incurred throughout the divorce process.
Even though the couple is now estranged and in a divorce dispute, the Congressman’s wife stated she will continue to vote for him at election time.
Source: Seattle Times, “McDermott divorce goes to trial next week,” Jim Brunner, Aug. 14, 2012