• May 17th 2010 at 3:32PM
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It's not all that often that a messy divorce pops up with a billionaire on one side and somebody who wants part of the money on the other, right? Actually, this occurs far too often and a divorce involving wealthy individuals can be downright messy and ultimately destructive to those involved. It appears as though the divorce between Tesla's chief executive officer Elon Musk and soon-to-be ex-wife Justine Musk is playing out as one of those mega-litigious affairs, and the impact may be extend well beyond just the two involved.

In case you haven't followed the Musk soap opera, here's what's going on. The divorce saga has been going on seemingly forever, as these things take lots of time. Justine Musk recently began blogging about the whole fiasco a couple of weeks ago on her Livejournal site. Justine is fighting the court battle to secure a few things that she feels entitled to. What does Justine want? Not much, just the house, alimony and child support, $6 million in cash, 10 percent of Elon's stock in Tesla, 5 percent of his stock in SpaceX, and throw in a Tesla Roadster as well.

Naturally, Elon is none too thrilled about the demands and has decided to fight this one in court. As the battle ensues, Elon stands a chance of losing much more than just the things listed above. If the divorce goes awry, Tesla could lose the $465 million in government funding that could delay its initial public offering. How does the divorce play into government funding? A stipulation in the paperwork states that government funds will be withdrawn if Musk doesn't hold enough stock in the company.

So is Justine being fair? Are her demands legit? As she said on her blog:
Is that what I deserve? I don't know. Who exactly deserves that kind of wealth? But based on our life and history together, is that reasonable? I think so.
One more thing to think about: by not agreeing to a settlement, Elon Musk risks losing even more as the post-marital agreement could be ruled illegal or fraudulent, and California law would then grant 50 percent of all communal property to Justine.

[Source: Livejournal, Reuters, Inside Line]

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