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divorce mutual mistake - Chicago Illinois Family Law Blog

Bernie Madoff Fraud Victim Attempts to Renegotiate Divorce Settlement in Unusual New York Divorce Case

By Nottage and Ward on July 5, 2011

The New York Times reports on an unusual case in New York that has divided the legal community. In 2006, a couple divorced after 33 years of marriage and agreed to equally split their wealth. Two years later, however, the man wanted to revise their divorce settlement, following the news of the Bernie Madoff fraud case. The woman refused, and the man sued. The case has reached the highest court in New York.

While divorce agreements are typically rarely overturned, the man’s request is receiving increased attention due to the circumstances created by the Madoff case. When the couple’s assets were split equally, a large portion of money was invested with Madoff under the man’s name. The woman received her settlement in cash. In December 2008, when news of the Madoff scheme broke, the man filed to drastically change the terms of the divorce settlement, arguing that his ex-wife should have to give him millions of dollars she had received in the settlement to replace the losses he suffered due to the fraud.

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