Mandelbaum Says He Cant Divorce Because Marriage Wasnt Valid

Mandelbaum says he can’t divorce because marriage wasn’t valid

In some instances, a parent’s behavior before or during a divorce can impact how child custody is determined. However, what happens when one parent claims that a marriage was never valid in the first place, thus arguing there’s no need to divorce? Child custody and support will still need to be determined, but other issues — like asset division and alimony — may become moot.

State law in New Jersey mandates that a couple actually have possession of their marriage license before they say “I do.” Millionaire Michael Mandelbaum says that he and his wife applied for one before they married, but that they didn’t actually get it until over two weeks later. According to him, they were never legally married in the first place.

Despite that, his wife still filed for divorce. Mr. Mandelbaum may want the marriage invalidated to avoid splitting up his enormous fortune, which apparently includes an annual income of more than $6 million and a multi-million dollar home. New Jersey, where his wife filed for divorce, is a state that enforces equitable distribution, meaning that each party has the right to a fair division of assets from the marriage. Although equitable distribution does not necessary mean a 50/50 split, Mrs. Mandelbaum would likely be entitled to a sizeable portion.

Hiding assets in a divorce proceeding is unlawful, though it is hardly uncommon. In this instance, a New Jersey judge will likely have to decide if the marriage is valid before the couple the property division issues can be addressed. Aside from the issues surrounding the legality of the marriage, child custody and support must still be addressed. Given the tenor of the current dispute between the Mandelbaums, it may not be surprising to see these issues reach a judge as well.

Source: Forbes, “How Far Some Men Will Go To Get Out Of Dividing Assets In Divorce“, Jeff Landers, Oct. 22, 2014


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