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Ex-husband must pay $750,000 for late divorce settlement payment

The chief executive of an international financial group has been ordered to pay his wife in excess of $750,000 in interest charges on a $7.5 million payment that was previously agreed upon as part of the couple's divorce settlement. The claim is that by being late on the payment, he would have to pay her interest dating back to June of 2005 when the agreement was made.

Under that divorce agreement he agreed to give his ex-wife $15.3 million in cash that was to be broken into two payments, a 2000 BMW, accounts with about $143,000 and the $9.6 million home the couple had at one point shared.

The case recently came before the high court, which upheld an appellate court's ruling that had overturned a previous lower court ruling.

In this case, the chief executive was in disagreement with having to pay his ex-wife on the 10 percent annual interest dating back to when the agreement was signed in 2005. Rather, he thought he should just be responsible for the 12 days that he was late on the $7.5 million payment, which is why he had given her an extra $25,000 when he did pay her.

However, calling the man a "financially sophisticated" business person, the justices noted that he knew and fully understood the terms of the settlement he signed in 2005, and knew that if he was late he would be charged the 10 percent annual interest.

Lawyers representing his wife have also suggested that the chief executive should pay not only the $750,000 interest charge on the original divorce payment, but that he also owes 10 percent interest on the $750,000 late payment for the five years that it has been unpaid.

That issue is expected to be address at another hearing. And if the court rules in favor of his ex-wife, he could be looking at owing her another $1.1 million.

In general, this case highlights some of the complex and difficult aspects that sometimes can come with a high-net divorce case.

Source: The Associated Press, "Credit Suisse CEO owes ex $750K for late payment," Dave Collins, 27 June 2011

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