Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Michael Douglas Lesson About Marital Property

Michael Douglas and his ex-wife Diandra Douglas divorced in 2000, but that was not the end of their saga. Diandra Douglas recently sued Michael Douglas in a New York court, alleging that her divorce agreement entitles her to profits & residuals from his new movie: “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”

Diandra Douglas contends that the divorce agreement entitles her to one-half of any profits, royalties & residuals from any movies he did during their marriage. She contends that the new movie is a spin-off from the original “Wall Street” movie, made famous by Michael Douglas’s character, Gordon Gekko: “Greed is Good.”

Michael Douglas, on the other hand, contends that she is not entitled to anything from this new venture and that it is not marital property subject to the 50/50 split.

This particular dispute is a good example of why a person needs a skilled attorney while going through a divorce. In Michigan, all property and income earned during the marriage is considered to be marital property, subject to a 50/50 split. If certain income or property is marital, whether it is received during the marriage or after the divorce, it is to be shared equally.

A skilled divorce attorney will be careful in how marital property is defined, and should counsel their client on what type of possibilities may exist that would entitle that person to a share of profits or distributions even after the marriage, provided those profits and distributions resulted from marital property.

Every situation is unique and different, and in some cases, there will be a clear and defined ending point for those types of profit distributions. However, in other cases, such as the Douglas’ case, the line is not so clear or defined.

You can read the Boston Herald article here:
Michael Douglas Ex Wants Wall Street Payday

If you are interested in learning more about separate maintenance, divorce or family law, please call Wendy Alton at 248-380-9976 or email her at

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