My client owned several investment properties and more than one business. Each of his properties was highly leveraged and contained questionable amounts of equity, but still threw off considerable income. The value of the businesses was in also dispute but again provided my client with significant cash flow.

The wife was a W-2 employee, so I was able to determine her income much more easily than my clients. She also had a very, very substantial 401(k).

My client was mostly concerned about losing his income producing properties, and businesses, as he was still many years from retiring. His overriding goal was to maintain the status quo. Although his wife had the right to demand a share of the properties, and ultimately could have received title to any of the real estate and a share of the businesses, we were able to convince her that we wanted a share of her retirement assets. We told her we would divide her 401(k) so that my client would have retirement security.

Although my client did not care about her 401(k), her fear that he would invade that to take his share, concerned her so much that she ultimately agreed to a disposition whereby my client waved his interest in her 401(k) and she waved any claim to any of the properties and businesses. My client was very pleased with this outcome.