Divorce And The Corporate Spouse

Behind the scenes, spouses may play an important role in the success of CEOs and other business leaders. They may serve as a sounding board, provide support and even offer suggestions about improving a business. 

Building A Successful Career Together

An article in the Wall Street Journal discusses the rise of Marvin Ellison, new CEO of Lowe’s Cos. and former CEO of JC Penney Co., and his wife of 26 years, Sharyn Ellison. Mrs. Ellison has played a visible role in her husband’s movement to the upper echelons of corporate America. From redecorating her husband’s office to making recommendations about store layout and stocking choices, her husband has acknowledged that his career “really is both our careers.”

Her involvement in her husband’s career has proven somewhat divisive in that some see it as representing the softer side of business leaders while others have expressed concern that her ideas will be given precedence over those of other professional employees.

Mr. and Mrs. Ellison are not alone in their attitude toward the role of a corporate spouse. Other business leaders have similarly stated that they function as a team with their spouse. One went so far as to say, “When you hire me, you get both of us.”

In Connecticut divorces, spouses’ non-monetary contributions to the marital estate may be considered by a judge when fashioning financial decisions. Corporate spouses are well-served in hiring a skilled divorce lawyer who is experienced in developing facts in support of a client’s property division and alimony claims.

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