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What the Schwarzenegger-Shriver split means for their finances

The media focus on ex-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, has been highly personal and, although the couple wishes otherwise, entirely public. Because of the couple's enormous individual and marital wealth, the financial aspect of the couple's split has made almost as many headlines as their impending divorce.

A New York celebrity attorney has broken down the probabilities of what she says will almost certainly result in a divorce settlement between the well-known stars. She says right now it's likely that Maria Shriver has a legal team going over every financial detail of the marriage with a fine-tooth comb.

The attorney said lawyers will financially quantify Shriver's lifestyle and the needs of her four children, one of whom is still young enough to be affected by child custody laws. Since the couple will divorce in a community property state, the celebrity attorney said it's important that Shriver know just what assets are exclusively hers, because the rest would be divided equally.

Provided there is no enforceable prenuptial agreement, lawyers would tally the couple's shared asset and liabilities, including tax implications, to determine both present and future values.

Shriver's best divorce security, the attorney said, should have begun with the marriage 25 years ago. She hoped that Shriver or those who have financially guided her have stayed on top of the status of every major money issue throughout the marriage. Smith said it's easy for someone who is very rich to easily allow even big outflows of money - to mistresses, for example - to go unnoticed.

Source: The Huffington Post: "Arnold Schwarzenegger And Maria Shriver: Legal And Financial Implications Of Split," Sara Wilson, 23 May 2011

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