Ex-wife of billionaire Chrysler Building owner is awarded £37million in a prenup but her demands for payments of £1.2million a year for their children are denied
The ex-wife of the German-born billionaire owner of New York’s famed Chrysler Building was awarded more than £37million under their prenuptial agreements after their marriage broke down, a court judge has heard today London High Court.
Michael Fuchs, 62, and ex-French journalist Alvina Collardeau-Fuchs, 47, battled in British courts over how much money the property tycoon should pay his wife.
Lawyers for Mr Fuchs said the figure was £30million and Ms Collardeau-Fuchs said it was more than £45million.
A private hearing at the High Court’s Family Division last month was told Ms Collardeau-Fuchs wanted around £1.2million a year for the children while Mr Fuchs suggested £350,000 a year .
But in the decision published on Monday, November 14, Judge Mostyn said the former journalist was entitled to more than £37million.
The judge denied her claims for their children, ruling that Mr. Fuchs would pay the children’s school fees and supplements on school bills; the cost of child nannies – capped at £100,000 per year; and periodic payments for the benefit of each child.
The couple married in New York in 2012, shared a home in London and separated in 2020, the judge heard.
The judge was told in a preliminary hearing over the summer that Mr Fuchs, who moved to the United States in the 1990s, was the billionaire owner of the Chrysler Building, according to financial news agency Bloomberg .
Mr Fuchs told the judge in October that “the value of his fortune had recently fallen due to the turbulent economic climate”.
The judge heard that Mr Fuchs had had an ‘extraordinarily successful career’ and owned ‘a very significant amount of prime real estate in midtown Manhattan’ before he married Ms Collardeau-Fuchs.
The judge had to consider an allegation of forgery against Mr. Fuchs by Mrs. Collardeau-Fuchs.
She alleged that her signature had been forged on a mortgage document. Mr. Fuchs disputed the allegation.
The judge clarified, in his decision, that he had drawn “no positive finding of falsification” against Mr. Fuchs.
Judge Mostyn heard testimony in private, but said the proceedings could be reported and the estranged couple would be named in media reports of the case. He said their children could not be named.
Mr Chamberlayne told the judge that Ms Collardeau-Fuchs’ budget was “evidence of greed, not need”.
Nicholas Cusworth KC, who led Ms Collardeau-Fuchs’ legal team, said she had ‘ceased her freelance work’ at the instigation of Mr Fuchs when their relationship ‘accelerated’.
Mr. Cusworth told the judge that Mr. Fuchs accepted that he was rarely home during the week and that Mrs. Collardeau-Fuchs deserved credit for giving up her career and investing in childcare.
Mr Fuchs had told Judge Mostyn he believed smothering children in luxury made them “jaded” and added: “I want them to learn the value of money.