Recent news outlets have blasted Real Housewives of New York reality star Luann de Lesseps for her failure to comply with her 2009 divorce agreement which provided in pertinent part that she was to use her share of equitable distribution monies resulting from the sale of a Hamptons marital home to fund a trust fund for the parties’ two children. As a result of her failure, her ex-husband and her two adult children are filing suit against her. It is alleged in the lawsuit that the Hamptons home sold for $8 Million in 2014, leaving her equitable share worth at least $3 Million. Instead of using her share to fund the trust as per the agreement, she instead purchased herself a $3.1 Million home in Sag Harbor.
It is not uncommon for a court to order the use of a trust instrument as a way of ensuring child support is paid, thereby protecting the children.
In the New Jersey case of Lynn v. Lynn, the husband’s equitable distribution monies from the sale of marital property were ordered to be frozen by the court in order to secure his child support obligation to the parties’ children.
The Appellate Division stated the following:
“We view the use of the trust device here as a suitable arrangement to guarantee that child support which Dr. Lynn cannot be expected to pay out of current earnings. As the trial judge noted, the use of a trust is not novel. In Painter v. Painter, 65 N.J. 196, 212-213 (1974), our Supreme Court stated that a matrimonial judge should “view sympathetically a resort to the trust device, with its great flexibility.”
Having an experienced matrimonial attorney to carefully draft and negotiate a marital settlement agreement is integral to ensuring you and your children have the financial protections you seek and need.
For more information regarding marital settlement agreements and the protections available contact a skilled divorce lawyer in New Jersey at the Law Office of Lyons & Associates. At the law office of Lyons & Associates, we represent men and women throughout New Jersey who have unresolved family law matters. We place a premium on personalized service and attention. For a private consultation, contact us online, or call our office at 908-575-9777.
Written by: Marissa A. Del Mauro