Skip to Content

How Far Some Men Will Go To Get Out Of Dividing Assets In Divorce

October 22, 2014 Family Law

The article we have reposted here by Jeff Landers shows how even if you are married for over 20 years, if you do not have a valid legal marriage from the beginning, then you maybe short handed when your spouse asks for a divorce.   Also discussed in this article is the fact that New Jersey does not recognize common law marriage.  It is important to note that Florida also does not recognize common law marriage.   Hopefully everyone reading this article has a valid legal marriage, however, if you don’t, then you want to consult with our firm to be better informed of your legal options in that regard.

How Far Some Men Will Go To Get Out Of Dividing Assets In Divorce, by Jeff Landers

I often say that divorce can bring out the worst in people. Occasionally, a case in news headlines makes even that seem like an understatement.

Judges in family law courts have seen and heard it all. Still, it may have been something of a novelty when Michael Mandelbaum claimed never to have been legally married to Debra, his wife of 20+ years, who now seeks to divorce him.

She filed for divorce in New Jersey, where the couple has three children and shared a home reportedly valued at about $2M. Mr. Mandelbaum’s position is that although New Jersey law requires couples to have a marriage license in hand before they wed, he and Debra did not. They applied for a license two days before their wedding ceremony, and received it 16 days afterward.

Mr. Mandelbaum contends that there was no legal marriage, so there can be no divorce – and therefore the court should dismiss Debra’s case. Of course, if there was no marriage, Mandelbaum would have no obligation to divide assets or pay alimony. He would probably only be liable for child support.

The Mandelbaums’ divorce action has made headlines because millions are at stake in the outcome. Mr. Mandelbaum’s father, David, is part owner of the Minnesota Vikings and appeared on The Forbes 400 – the list of the richest people in America – in 2005. Michael reported an income in excess of $6.6M in 2012 from managing his family’s legal affairs.

To read full article click on this link