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Massachusetts businessman in midst of high asset divorce

Christy Mihos is a staple of life in Massachusetts. At one time he owned dozens of stores on Cape Cod and was the vice chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. Mihos also twice ran for governor of Massachusetts, although both campaigns were ultimately unsuccessful.

Mihos is currently in the news because he is at the beginning of what already appears will be a difficult divorce. Mihos' private life first gained public attention about a year ago when he was accused of assaulting his wife, allegations that he denies.

Mihos' wife has since filed for divorce, but the high asset divorce is already marked by disagreement. Each spouse is accusing the other of financial misconduct. The wife specifically cites the money that Mihos spent on his failed gubernatorial campaigns, which she says topped over $4 million. The wife says that this was wasted money and is therefore requesting the bulk of the couple's estate. For his part, Mihos says that the amount was actually a little over $3 million and his wife fully supported his two attempts at the governor's office.

The couple also disagree on the sale of their various properties, which include property in West Yarmouth and in Florida.

While the end of a marriage marks the end of an emotional partnership, it also signals the end of an economic relationship. Often the most contentious aspect of a divorce can be property division, and this is only magnified in high asset divorces where there is significant money at stake.

In Massachusetts, marital property is divided using a legal theory known as "equitable distribution." Under this legal theory, a judge divides marital property based on what he or she thinks is fair under the circumstances. This does not necessarily mean that each spouse will walk away with half of the marital estate, and indeed the most common outcome is that the higher-income spouse receives around two-thirds of the marital estate while the lower-income spouse receives the remaining one-third.

Source: Capecodonline.com, "Businessman Christy Mihos declares $2.6 million in debt," Patrick Cassidy, Feb. 22, 2013

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