Twitter Stock Case Illustrates the Importance of Disclosing Investments


Pasadena divorce lawyers know that the distinction between separate property and community property causes conflict in many divorce cases, especially when highly profitable investments are concerned.

Last week, Stuart Strumwasser made headlines when he sued ex-wife Jennifer Johnson on the grounds that she snuck away to make a secret investment in Twitter just six months before filing for divorce. The investment in question is now worth between $10 million and $50 million, according to court papers.

Strumwasser is asking for 30% of Johnson's Twitter shares as well as repayment of $120,000 in overpaid child support. He was previously paying over $2,000 per month in child support for their 9-year-old twins despite earning a modest income as an indie musician and the founder of a natural soda brand.

Strumwasser claims to have had no knowledge of Johnson's initial investment. She had told her husband she was visiting her brother in San Francisco when the meetings with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey took place. Dorsey is a co-worker of Johnson's first husband Gregg Kidd. Strumwasser later discovered the investment publicized on her LinkedIn page.

When you file for divorce, you are supposed to disclose all assets. The court determines what is separate property and what is a marital asset. Even if you think something is a separate asset, you have to disclose it to the court anyway. An investment like Johnson's could be considered separate property if it was purchased using money given as a gift, an inheritance, or assets she accumulated before marriage. This is for the court to decide, however.

Child support is based on the earnings of both parents, as well as the amount of time each parent spends with the children. So, if Strumwasser's ex-wife did in fact lie about her earnings, he would have been overpaying in child support. Child support payments are set based on the belief that both parents are responsible for the welfare of the children. Changes in income of either party affect the amount of support that is owed.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you have questions about how assets are divided during a divorce proceeding. Our Pasadena divorce attorneys can help you obtain a favorable settlement as quickly as possible.