Estranged wife of billionaire Chrysler Building owner awarded £37million under prenuptial agreements after their marriage broke down

After their marriage broke down, the German-born millionaire who owns New York’s renowned Chrysler Building granted his estranged wife more than £37 million in accordance with their prenuptial agreements, a judge in London’s High Court concluded today.

The dispute about the amount of money the property mogul should pay his spouse has been going on in the British courts between Michael Fuchs, 62, and French ex-journalist Alvina Collardeau-Fuchs, 47.

The amount was reported as £30 million by Mr. Fuchs’ attorneys and as much than £45 million by Ms. Collardeau-Fuchs.

Last month, at a private hearing at the High Court’s Family Division, it was revealed that Ms. Collardeau-Fuchs requested about £1.2 million year in child support, while Mr. Fuchs had proposed £350,000.

But in the ruling published on Monday November 14, Mr. Justice Mostyn said the former journalist is entitled to more than £37million.

The judge refused her demands for their children, ruling that Mr. Fuchs would pay children’s school fees and extras on the school bills; the cost of the children’s nannies – capped at £100,000 a year; and periodical 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 at a preliminary hearing during the summer that Mr. Fuchs, who moved to the US 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 plummeted recently due to the turbulent economic climate’.

The judge heard that Mr. Fuchs had enjoyed an ‘extraordinarily successful career’ and owned a ‘very significant amount of prime mid-town Manhattan real estate’ before marrying Ms Collardeau-Fuchs.

The judge had to consider a forgery allegation made against Mr. Fuchs by Ms. Collardeau-Fuchs.

She alleged that her signature had been forged on a mortgage document. Mr Fuchs disputed the allegation.

The judge made it clear, in his ruling, that he had not made ‘any positive findings of falsification’ against Mr. Fuchs.

Mr. Justice Mostyn heard evidence in private but said proceedings could be reported and the estranged couple 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 independent work’ at Mr. Fuchs’ instigation when their relationship ‘gathered pace’.

Mr. Cusworth told the judge that Mr. Fuchs accepted that he was rarely at home during the week and that Ms. Collardeau-Fuchs deserved credit for having given up her career and invested in the care of the children.

Mr. Fuchs had told Mr. Justice Mostyn how he believed smothering children in luxuries made them ‘jaded’ and added: ‘I want them to learn the value of money.’

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