The District Court of Appeal for Florida’s Fourth
District agreed with a trial court that Mary Lou Gordon failed to prove that
the agreement was reached through fraud, deceit, duress, coercion,
misrepresentation, or overreaching, according to a summary of the opinion by
Leagle, Inc. Additionally, the appellate court agreed with the trial court that
Michael A. Gordon’s disclosure of his financial assets was adequate, citing a
previous court of appeal case which found that a financial disclosure need not
be “minutely detailed nor exact.”
The majority of the court panel considered the prominent
mention of pensions in the body of the agreement to be sufficient to provide Ms.
Gordon with a general and approximate knowledge of her former husband’s
resources. The court also noted that Ms. Gordon learned the details of the Mr.
Gordon’s airline pension plan less than a year after they were married and made
no attempt to modify the agreement to account for these benefits.
A dissenting judge said he believes “an
undervaluation of at least $143,000 (and perhaps as high as $229,000) is
neither a minute detail nor excusably inexact.”
The agreement provided, among other things, that each
party’s property at the time of the marriage was to remain his or her separate
property. It included a section titled “Pension Benefits” in which Mary
Lou and Michael each specifically waived his or her rights to the other’s
pension benefit plans.
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