Professor Barbara Glesner Fines writes today on the Family Law Prof Blog about Sham Divorces:
Basically, these are divorces in which the parties collude in order to transfer property from the marital estate to the spouse who doesn’t have a legal problem—in other words, the one who isn’t in danger of having the assets recovered by someone he or she has defrauded.
Now who could that possibly be? Could it be Walter Forbes, former chairman of Cendant Corporation, who is serving prison time for one of the biggest accounting scandals in U.S. history? The feds are trying to intervene in the divorce to prevent a property distribution that would frustrate Mr. Forbes’ $3.275 billion restitution order.
Then there’s the case of nine Continental Airlines pilots. The airlines is suing them, claiming that they allegedly obtained a sham divorce in order to trigger a cash pension payout to their ex-spouse, who they subsequently remarried. The problem? The Domestic Relations Order (DRO) resulted in a huge payout of the pilots’ pensions to their wives. After they received the money, they remarried.
You can read Prof. Fines’ blog article here, and find links to more information about these cases.