A wife’s effort to obtain a portion of the increased value of her husband’s multi-million dollar ownership interest in a Palm Beach County auto dealership as part of the couple’s divorce failed because, according to a 4th District Court of Appeal ruling, the prenuptial agreement she signed effectively waived her right to pursue such claims. Even if it hadn’t, the dealership’s rise in value was not due to the husband’s active efforts during the marriage, so the wife wouldn’t have been entitled to an equitable distribution anyway.
The dealership at the center of the case was Delray Motors in Delray Beach, founded by Ed Young in 1958. The business comprised a new-and-used auto dealership and a highly successful wholesale parts department. In 2002, Young’s son, Roy Timothy Young, purchased a 20% share of the business from his father. In 2010, the son’s wife of 14 years filed for divorce. As part of the equitable distribution she sought in the divorce, she challenged the validity of the prenuptial agreement the couple signed back in 1996 and asserted a claim to half of the 20% ownership purchase her husband made eight years earlier in the multi-million auto business.