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Elkus v. Elkus

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division
572 N.Y.S.2d 901 (1991)



Frederica von Stade Elkus (plaintiff), a successful and famous opera singer, married her husband (defendant) in 1973. At the time, she had just started her career, taking on small roles. In the first year of marriage, she earned $2,250. During the marriage, Mr. Elkus gave up his own career to travel with his wife, observe and critique her performances, and serve as a voice coach and teacher, as well as to take care of their two children. Ms. Von Stade became a success, headlining shows and travelling around the world. In 1989, her income was $621,878. The trial court held that Mr. Elkus’s contributions did not constitute marital property. Mr. Elkus appealed to the Appellate Division.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Rosenberger, J.)

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