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RI Supreme Court Divorce Decision

After more than seven years of litigation, the Rhode Island Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision on an appeal of a Family Court divorce decision. On June 25, the Supreme Court overturned a trial judge's divorce ruling which awarded a wife a 25% interest in a husband's business (Microfibres) valued at between $106 million and $126 million finding that the lower court erred in 1) not arriving at a specific valuation of the business and 2) awarding an unliquidated minority interest to wife. At the divorce trial each spouse presented expert business valuation testimony and the judge also retained the services of an appraiser. Nonetheless, he failed to arrive at a specific valuation figure, which the Supreme Court criticized as "an abuse of discretion." Additionally, the court upheld the trial judge's rulings denying the wife attorneys fees, reimubursement for expert expenses and her request to obtain copies of his will, trust and other estate-planning documents.
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