Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Are overtime, bonuses, and commissions included in calculating child support?”
A very interesting case out of New York City showcased the importance of making accurate and complete financial disclosures during a divorce. The case dates back to a 2007 split between Stuart Strumwasser and Jennifer Johnson. Prior to the divorce Stuart was making $43,000 a year while his wife made even less. After the divorce was finalized, Stuart was ordered to pay child support for his two young twins, money he has paid faithfully ever since. Everything seemed normal until Stuart decided to check up on his wife recently and performed a social media search, ultimately finding his wife’s profile on the business site LinkedIn. Imagine his shock when he read that Johnson was described as a first-round investor in Twitter.
After recovering from his surprise, Stuart began retracing his steps and remembered that prior to their divorce his wife went by herself on a trip to visit her brother in San Francisco. He was left alone in New York watching their two young children and thought nothing of the vacation. Only later did he find out that Jennifer had actually been secretly meeting with her ex-husband while in San Francisco. Her ex was a longtime friend and colleague of Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter.
While in San Francisco, Jennifer took a meeting with Dorsey and invested between $10,000 and $50,000 in the social media company that was then in its very early stages. Estimates now reveal that that investment is worth between $10 and $50 million.
Stuart was furious after discovering his ex-wife’s windfall and has now filed suit against her in a Manhattan court. In his complaint Stuart accuses Jennifer of committing fraud by omitting the investment from their divorce financial disclosures. He is now asking that his wife repay $120,000 in child support that he’s forked over in the years since the divorce as well as 30 percent of her shares in Twitter.
Family law experts say that the case will depend largely on what money Jennifer used to purchase the Twitter shares. Family law in New York, and here in North Carolina, is clear that when property is acquired during a marriage it is assumed to be marital property and is subject to equitable division during a divorce. The only wrinkle is if the property is acquired in one party’s name and with funds that predate the marriage. Only then could the person reasonably argue that the property remains separate and not subject to division. In either case, the asset should have been disclosed during a divorce. To not do so opens parties up to potentially worse trouble years later when the omission is inevitably discovered.
If you find yourself facing a complicated family matter then you need the help of experienced family law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce.
About the Author:
Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member with Arnold & Smith, PLLC where he focuses his practice on most aspects of Family law including: divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, and equitable distribution. Mr. Arnold is an experienced trial attorney who has tried jury and bench trials in both North Carolina District Court and North Carolina Superior Court.
Mr. Arnold grew up in Charlotte, graduating from Providence Senior High School and continued his education at Belmont Abbey College on a basketball scholarship. After graduating cum laude he attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship. In his spare time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time on the North Carolina Coast with his wife and three young children: two daughters and one son.
“Ex sues former wife over hidden Twitter stock,” by Jay Hart, published at Yahoo.com.
See Our Related Videos From Our YouTube Channel:
See Our Related Blog Posts: