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Biting the Hand: Property Settlement Reduced for Trash Talk

A New York woman saw her divorce settlement reduced for repeatedly attacking the reputation of her estranged husband in the media and around town. 

Married for almost 20 years, Ira and Janice Schacter engaged in a bitter divorce for seven years. Remarking on the actions of both parties, New York Supreme Court justice, Laura E. Drager commented “[t]his acrimonious divorce action presented one of the most contentious litigations this court has ever presided over.” 

Along with that observation, Justice Drager found the actions of Ms. Schacter diminished the value of the law practice of Mr. Schacter. Specifically, the court noted: 

  • Ms. Schacter made numerous comments to media concerning money Mr. Schacter spent on his girlfriend, a Playboy model. At the same time, Ms. Schacter stated her ex-husband refused to pay for the hearing aids of their daughter.
  • As a result, an online legal website sarcastically named Mr. Schacter “Lawyer of the Month,” for the actions described by his wife.
  • Mr. Schacter stated the value of his law practice declined from $5 million in 2007 to approximately $600,000 in December 2012.
  • Justice Drager ruled Ms. Schacter “chose to bite the hand that fed her.” The court reduced the property share of Ms. Schacter in the legal practice of her husband from $2.5 million to approximately $855,000, or from 50 percent to approximately 17 percent. 

While Ms. Schacter lost a substantial amount of money, she still exits the divorce a wealthy woman. 

For most people, retaining wealth after a divorce is critical. Comments and anger that reduce the income or economic stature of either party ultimately affect the family and any children. If you are considering divorce, keep angry comments to yourself, or close friends. Speak with your attorney rather than your children, the media, social media or your social circle. 

When you need aggressive, experienced legal representation with divorce in New York, call me at Bryan L. Salamone and Associates, P.C.

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