There are only 9 community property states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. ALASKA allows you to opt into community property. (both spouses have to agree).
In these states, without a prenuptial agreement, all property acquired after the marriage and before the date of separation, is COMMUNITY property, and subject to division at divorce.
Anyway, everyone knows the Sterling’s marital problems. He cheats on her. A lot. They are estranged. She even went so far to sue his mistress to return the property he gave away! (a completely INSANE legal ruling, and of course pending appeal right now). I have no idea why she didn’t just FILE for divorce. Except for the simple answer: why get half when you can just wait for him to die and possibly get all? (depending on his estate plan, this may not be true). But it’s just food for thought.
CBS Evening News quoted me in this article. The backlash cost Sterling his team, which he had owned since 1981.
“I think he only made the billions after they got married,” family law attorney Kelly Chang Rickert said. “So before, he was just an average guy. Now he’s a billionaire and he has to divide half of it.”
Shelly Sterling had her husband removed as director of the family trust that owned the Clippers, allowing her to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. The National Basketball Association banned Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million. Forbes lists Donald Sterling’s net worth at $2.9 billion.
Shelly reportedly had the ability to file for divorce last year after the scandal initially came out, but decided not to.
“Let’s say that they’re divorcing. That means that he would get half, she would get half, versus if he were to die in his old age,” Rickert said. “Everything would just go to Shelly.”