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Billionaire couple to divorce; where will the money go?

Another high-profile couple has announced their divorce. In this case, it's pharmaceutical tycoon Stewart Rahr and his wife of 43 years who are splitting. Rahr, who is worth an estimated $1.6 billion, will join the ranks of other billionaires who recently have faced divorce proceedings. Some of them, like Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeff Lurie and coal magnate Joseph Craft, saw their names fall off the Forbes 400 list following their divorces, their fortunes depleted by expensive proceedings and unfavorable settlements. While Rahr may not necessarily lose his billionaire status as the result of divorce, he likely will face many of the issues common in a high net worth divorce.

Asset division can be a difficult issue in any divorce, but more assets can mean more conflict. A complicating factor in a high net worth divorce is the need to locate and value assets such as business investments, overseas bank accounts, fringe benefits, and executive perks. Comprehensive valuation is critical for equitable asset division.

Another issue that often arises in high asset divorces is whether one spouse must pay spousal support to the other. When one spouse has substantial earning power, spousal support may be awarded so that the other spouse can continue to maintain a lifestyle similar to what the couple had during marriage.

While any divorce can be emotionally draining, a high net worth divorce can be even more challenging. An experienced divorce attorney can be consulted to ensure asset division, spousal support, and other issues are resolved in a manner appropriate for the parties involved.

Source: Forbes, "Will Divorce Knock Stewart Rahr Off Billionaires List?" Caleb Melby, Dec. 4, 2012

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