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Rahr-in' to go: Billionaire's four-decade marriage nears end

New York City resident Carol Rahr is divorcing her billionaire husband, Stewart, a former pharmaceutical company owner and philanthropist. According to the spouses' lawyers, the Rahr divorce is expected to move forward without the financial fireworks that accompany many divorce settlements.

Stewart and Carol Rahr have been a married couple for 43 years. Friends say the couple's divorce is amicable. The long-time pair still shares the same palatial Trump Park Avenue residence. Not long ago, the Rahr's hosted a celebrity-studded charity event in the Hamptons, where the couple owns a second home valued at over $40 million.

Stewart Rahr was the owner of a pharmaceutical firm until two years ago. The philanthropist has been in a giving mood since the sale of Kinray for $1.3 billion. The wealthy man lavished $25 million on charities since 2010, including a $7 million check towards cancer research.

The next big contribution may be to Stewart's wife, who stood by her husband throughout the formation, building and sale of his drug company. The couple has two adult children.

Carol Stewart filed for divorce through an aggressive, New York divorce attorney, a legal representative for some of the most famous people in the city. Christie Brinkley and Uma Thurman used the same lawyer for their divorce actions, although the Rahrs are allegedly parting ways on much less contentious terms than those celebrities did.

Marital property shared over decades can cause disputes. Financial worth is sometimes secondary to a spouse's emotional attachment to an asset. Fairness to both parties requires a reliable, sometimes professional, accounting and valuation of assets before divorce negotiations begin.

The Rahr's financial settlement will be staggering no matter how well the couple cooperates through divorce negotiations - a much higher agreement than most spouses would have to consider. While the enormous wealth is unusual, the issues involved in dividing the assets and liabilities equitably remain the same for New York divorcing couples at every economic level.

Source: nypost.com, "Wife divorcing billionaire Stewart Rahr after 43 years," Dec. 3, 2012

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