Michael Avenatti is a Los Angeles attorney who has garnered an outsize share of media coverage in the last several months by representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her dispute with President Donald Trump about an affair she allegedly had with him several years ago. He is now getting media coverage because of his pending divorce and the property settlement with his estranged wife. Avenatti’s divorce does not provide a paragon for ending a marriage, but he and his wife have apparently reached an agreement about dividing assets that may provide a template for other high-asset couples.
Avenatti and his wife have entered into a settlement agreement in which the lawyer has agreed to transfer certain assets to his wife with the understanding that she will have the power to sell them. The assets include a 2017 Ferrari 488 GT Spider, selected works of art, a sculpture by famed architect Frank Gehry and several extremely expensive wrist watches. Avenatti’s law firm has also been ordered to give the firm’s Honda private jet to his wife as part of the settlement.
Avenatti reportedly owes his wife $1,947,540 in back child support and alimony. Avenatti also agreed to pay spousal support going forward in the amount of $124,398 per month. Avenatti has apparently paid some of the arrears in cash, and the balance will be paid by proceeds from the sale of the personal assets that he has transferred to his wife.
The reports of the settlement have omitted a number of critical details, such as whether any of the assets are community property. Nevertheless, the concept of transferring assets to one soon-to-be ex-spouse who has the right to sell the assets may help some couples resolve disputes about dividing assets that are considered community property.