Kent and Liz Swig might be a case study in why a post nup is a bad idea

Once upon a time, Kent and Elizabeth Macklowe Swig lived at 740 Park Avenue in the magical city called Gotham where real estate dynasties like the Macklowes marry off their little princesses to San Francisco real estate royalty like the Swigs and increase their mutual networth to a staggering sum. Theirs was the charmed existence with the requisite waterfront estates in the Hamptons, soirees with art  patrons in their 16 room (yes, I said 16) penthouse; and over the top birthday parties to which only the creme de la creme of NY society dared show their faces. Apparently, this usually did not include the Trumps.
Well, so,  everyone was living happily ever after and all was well in Swiggland until Kent overextended, the 2008 Great recession hit, and all his lenders began to call in their loans (were they living on debt, not equity?!). Suddenly the pipes burst and Kent was on the verge of personal and corporate bankruptcy. Very quickly, the owner of Brown Harris Stevens found out who his friends were and were not. And then, the unthinkable happened. He was forced to borrow money from his in laws. They in turn forced him to sign a post nup with his wife Liz Macklowe Swig – their daughter. It was the beginning of the end of their marriage in more ways than one.
According to the NYT:

The same day that his in-laws gave him the loan, Mr. Swig signed a postnuptial agreement with his wife. In the event of a divorce, Ms. Swig would get both homes, while he would assume responsibility for the debts against the properties. She would also get almost $12 million in artwork, including works by Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami.

Ms. Swig also declared sole ownership of $1.8 million in jewelry and $11 million worth of furnishings, including a $1,000 pig-shaped ashtray in the cigar room and a pair of Albert Cheuret sconces, circa 1925, which were valued at $100,000.

Five months later, in March 2010, Kent Swig filed for divorce. And soon Harry Macklowe, Mr. Swig later contended in court filings, began to break the promise he had made when he gave his son-in-law the loan.

Why did this divorce filing follow so closely on the heel of that postnup? Especially when Swig knew he would lose so much? I certainly have my theories. But I leave it to you to ponder whether that postnup wrecked that marriage and if so, why?…. read more about this intriguing tale here.