Not Legally Married, so Can't Legally Divorce

Rich New Jersey couple, Debra A. DeAngelis and Michael Jay Mandelbaum are battling over “hundreds of millions of dollars” in their divorce settlement. But that money is riding on one small technicality: since their marriage license was issued after the wedding, they were technically never legally married. Mandelbaum is arguing that this technicality means they can’t legally get divorced. The two share three children and have lived together for two decades.

Rich Family

Michael Mandelbaum is the son of David Mandelbaum, a minority owner of the Minnesota Vikings, and also, according to Forbes, one of the wealthiest people in America. The magazine put the the worth of “David Mandelbaum & family at $900 million last year.

Attempt to Dismiss the Divorce Case

Michael’s attorneys made a motion to dismiss the divorce case in May, but it was recently brought back into the limelight by the Wall Street Journal. Documents show Debra A. DeAngelis and Michael J. Mandelbaum were married December 12, 1993, but that the marriage license was applied for on December 10th, and then issued on December 21. Michael’s attorneys’ filing cited previous cases where the ceremonial marriages had been declared void because a previous appellate court had ruled that the law “requires that a license to marry be procured before the ceremony.” But later, in June, Debra’s attorneys filed documents showing that David had behaved as if the couple really was legally married. The filings included joint tax returns, deeds, as well as greeting cards containing the messages “For my wife” and “After 20 years I’d marry you all over again.”

Retraining Order

Last December, Debra Mandelbaum was found half-conscious at the bottom of the stairs at the couple’s home. Debra alleges she was pushed by Michael. At the time she obtained a temporary restraining order. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Mandelbaum was charged with aggravated assault in the third degree but was accepted into a pretrial intervention program which, once completed, would result in the charge being dropped.”

Both parties are expected in court in October.

Source:, Rich N.J. man wants divorce dismissed over marriage-license delay, September 19, 2014

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