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Wealthy hedge fund manager succeeds in enforcing terms of prenup over wife’s objections

Jacob Gottlieb, the 44-year-old New York hedge fund manager and founder of Visium Asset Management, recently won a court battle with his 37-year-old wife Alexandra Lumiere concerning alimony and who will take ownership of the family home after their divorce.

The dispute involved a prenuptial agreement, signed in 2007, under which Gottlieb agreed—in the event the couple divorced—to make arrangements for his wife and children to live in an apartment with amenities until the children were grown, while he would keep the title to their $8.7 million home. That agreement also specified that Lumiere would receive no alimony or share of Gottlieb’s assets, but she was to receive a $1.6 million investment fund. 

When the couple filed for divorce, the prenuptial agreement dictated that Lumiere would take only the $1.6 million fund, whereas Gottlieb is said to have been worth $54 million in 2011. Lumiere’s Linkedin profile shows that she worked as a real estate sales associate for seven years at Brown Harris Stevens before moving into a career as a yoga instructor. Presumably, her earnings in yoga instruction are more modest, but that isn’t clear.

Lumiere attempted to have the agreement struck down on the grounds that Gottlieb had failed to fully disclose his assets and that she was pressured to sign the agreement while enduring the emotional instability of pregnancy. The appeals court decided in the case, however, that the agreement could not be invalidated. Although one of the judges said in his dissent that Gottlieb may have been misrepresenting the facts during the prenuptial negotiations, the court ruled noted that Lumiere had signed the agreement despite her attorney’s recommendation that she not do so.

In our next post, we’ll take a look at the issue of prenuptial agreement validity, and why it is important to work with an experienced attorney when negotiating a prenuptial agreement. 

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