The Solicitor - The FindLaw UK Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Family law: Billionaire's scientific evidence of genius rejected by divorce judge

Henry Silverman, from New York, had amassed a great fortune during his 30-year marriage, and now that he wants to divorce his wife Nancy, he doesn't want to part with any of the money, claiming it was a product of his "innate genius".

Mr Silverman asserted that his $450 million estate was earned by him alone using his "unique personal traits" and he intended to use scientific evidence during the divorce hearing to prove it.

But State Supreme Court Judge Laura Drager decided to ban the expert evidence, which consisted of testimonies from psychological experts, from the trial.

Mr Silverman had turned the travel and property company Cendant Corporation into a multi-billion dollar business during his marriage to Nancy.

While the judge did not deny that Mr Silverman's business acumen "helped cause the business to succeed", she also stated that Nancy contributed to the business by managing the couple's domestic and social life.

Nancy also raised their daughter, Casey, and made social introductions that helped Mr Silverman in his business.

Nancy believes that she is entitled to a share of Mr Silverman's money since she was "with him when he had nothing".

Judge Laura Drager said: "The expert opinion evidence offered by the Husband offers no assistance to the finder of fact in fashioning an equitable distribution of the estate based on the contributions of each party to the marital partnership."

Mr Silverman is currently engaged to the woman he left Nancy for, yoga instructor Karen Hader.

Related links:
Read more on the story (Daily Mail)
Find out what is admissible evidence (FindLaw)
Find local family solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)