Former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan (whose real name is Terry Bollea) and his wife of 26 years were officially divorced in July 2009. The property settlement in their divorce was recently made public because the two have a dispute over the amount owed to his ex-wife from her ownership interest in some of his businesses.
According to the details of their divorce settlement, Hogan's ex-wife Linda Bollea received a generous amount of the couple's assets in the property division. Although Hogan was primarily responsible for the businesses, if the couple's assets had been divided by a judge, those businesses would probably have been classified as joint marital property because they were founded and operated during the marriage. In a negotiated divorce settlement, the parties can make trade-offs and other choices that a divorce court might not make, although the settlement terms still have to be approved before becoming part of the divorce decree.
According to reports, Linda Bollea received:
- More than 70 percent of the couple's liquid assets
- A 40-percent ownership interest in various of Hogan's companies
- A $3 million property settlement
- Several vehicles, including a Cadillac Escalade, a Corvette and a Rolls-Royce
Presumably in exchange for these favorable terms, Bollea agreed to waive alimony.
As part of the property settlement, the couple has agreed to sell their four multimillion-dollar Florida homes. Bollea was to receive the money she was owed first, and then any remaining proceeds from the real estate sales were to be evenly split between the two parties.
At issue in the dispute is how much Bollea should receive in current and future revenues from some companies that manage Hogan-themed products and his likeness. According to the divorce settlement agreement, Bollea was to receive 40 percent of the net revenues, but a court has ordered Hogan to pay his ex-wife 40 percent of the gross revenues, and an appellate court agreed. Hogan's attorney argues that the divorce settlement requires all disputes to be settled through arbitration rather than by the courts, however, so the judge has set aside the order.
Division of property can be complex in any high-asset divorce. Whenever a divorcing couple owns a business, valuation of the spouses' appropriate shares in the company must be done and, if the parties will have shares in the long-term revenue of the business, it is essential for the division of that asset to be done correctly. As this story shows, the impact can last for decades.
Source: St. Petersburg Times, "Ex-wife put Hulk Hogan against ropes in divorce settlement," Rita Farlow, Nov. 23, 2011