Innate Genius Fail to Impress Divorce Court Judge.

Henry Silverman is not your average mega-millionaire.  In addition to being a fabulously wealthy and prominent New York financier, he is also – at least according to three psychologists hired by his legal team – an innate genius.  Unfortunately, it looks like that is not going to prevent his soon-to-be-ex-wife from walking away with some portion of his massive wealth.

Nearly every major media outlet in New York is reporting on Silverman’s acrimonious divorce from his wife of 30 years, and his failed legal maneuver.   The story: Silverman recently filed a motion in which he asked a judge to  hear testimony from three psychologists, all of whom were expected to inform the court that Silverman is an innate genius with very unique business and financial talents.  Why?  To prevent his wife from getting a share of the riches that he accumulated during their 30 years of marriage.

You see, New York is not a community property state; instead New York divorce courts are guided by the law equitable distribution.  That law requires the court to look at each party’s contribution to the marriage when dividing assets between divorcing spouses.  It seems that Silverman’s “innate genius” evidence was intended to prove that his wife did not, and in fact could not, contribute to Silverman’s good fortunes.  This could have spared Silverman the pain of parting with some portion of his $450 million in assets.

Unfortunately for Silverman (and the much younger yoga instructor to whom he is currently betrothed), New York State Supreme Court Judge Laura Drager didn’t buy it.  Looks like Silverman is going to have to apply that genius to find a better argument.

Via the New York Times, New York Post, and Gotham Gazette.

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