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Mystery surrounds supposed marriage, divorce of Elle McPherson

Tabloids have been reporting that supermodel Elle McPherson, a resident of Indian Creek in Miami, and her husband, Jeff Soffer, have split up and are getting divorced. These reports have now been complicated by rumors that the pair was never legally married. Soffer is a wealthy real estate developer, and whether the two were officially married could have a significant effect on the division of their assets and whether a divorce proceeding is commenced.

Soffer and McPherson were allegedly married in 2013 on the island of Fiji. The ceremony was described in contemporaneous reports as "intimate," with only a few family and friends in attendance. Recently, however, Soffer has been heard bragging to friends that he and McPherson were never legally married.

According to reports, legal details of the Fiji marriage are sketchy. In spite of laws in Fiji that require couples who wish to marry on the romantic island to sign a marriage license and provide documents such as a birth certificate, no such records exist for Soffer and McPherson. The identity of their wedding officiant is unknown. The mystery surrounding the pair's legal relationship has been deepened by reporters who have examined Florida courthouse records. They say that no record exists of McPherson and Soffer getting divorced in Florida.

If Soffer and McPherson were never legally married, neither would have a claim on any assets obtained by the other that would otherwise be deemed marital property. This fact may explain why Soffer's friends described his statements about the status of the marriage as "bragging." While neither Soffer nor McPherson is likely to be impoverished by the split, any dispute about whether they were legally married is likely to involve complex legal questions and many millions of dollars.

Source: Page Six, "Were Elle Macpherson and Jeff Soffer technically never married?," Emily Smith and Ian Mohr, Sep. 6, 2017

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