The former CEO of Cendant has tried to convince a New York court that his IQ should give him the financial edge in a divorce from his second wife. A New York judge, however, declared that “genius” is not reason enough to take more than his fair share of marital property.
The asset division of $450 million is at stake for the executive, now in the top ranks of Apollo Global Management. He has been married before and has already fathered a child by another woman who he plans to marry.
The divorce is scheduled to go to trial later in 2011, but testimony of his intelligence will not be entered as evidence.
The New York justice threw out the man’s request to allow three psychologists to testify to the financier’s “innate intellectual talents.” The husband said it would prove that he deserved more of the multimillion-dollar assets than his wife did.
He and his second wife have been married for 30 years and have been arguing over distribution of marital assets for the last two years. During the marriage, his wife never had a job outside the home.
The man’s argument that he could offer proof connecting his “unique personal traits” to his wealth was dismissed. The New York Supreme Court justice felt his intelligence also had to be considered within the bounds of the state’s equitable distribution laws.
The justice declared the financier’s business was not the only contribution to the marriage’s economic status. His wife’s accomplishments – raising the couple’s daughter and providing social enhancements to her husband’s career – will be also quantified in a legal settlement.
Source: New York Times, “In Divorce Case, Judge Refuses to Hear Evidence of Genius,” Peter Lattman, Aug. 4, 2011