Divorce judge reduced settlement after wife publicly criticized husband

A case out of New York is catching the attention of legal professionals throughout the country. In the case, a woman and husband were going through a contentious divorce. Although contentious divorces are not uncommon, special circumstances in this case led the judge to rule that the wife went too far when she publicly voiced frustrations with her then husband.

Her negative comments ultimately led to a reduction in her share of the property division determination.

More on the case

Generally, negative comments do not directly lead to a reduced divorce settlement. This case is unique for a number of reasons. The primary factor that sets this case apart from most situations is the fact that the wife's negative comments were shown to directly impact the husband's business.

The husband was partner to a lucrative law firm. During the divorce proceedings, the wife made it known to the public that, allegedly, her husband refused to pay for their daughter's $12,000 hearing aids but bought a $215,000 engagement ring for his "Playboy model girlfriend", according to a recent article in the ABA Journal. The statement gained the attorney a sarcastic title of "Lawyer of the Month."

Unfortunately, these statements cost the wife more than she anticipated. Instead of getting even with her then husband, she received a lower than expected divorce settlement. The judge agreed to the settlement because the husband's legal team was able to prove that these comments negatively impacted the man's practice.

Lessons for those going through a divorce in Pennsylvania

Although this divorce showcases a unique situation, the lesson can hold true for any couple going through a divorce. Pennsylvania law generally allows for the equitable distribution of property when a couple divorces. During the process, the court can consider a variety of factors, including the length of the marriage, the age of each spouse, the health of each spouse, vocational skills, sources of income and any contribution one spouse made to the furtherance of the other's profession. As a result, a similar case could occur in Pennsylvania. If one spouse takes action that negatively impacts the other's earning capacity, the spouse may receive a lower divorce settlement.

This is just one of the many unexpected issues that can arise during a divorce proceeding. Because of the complex nature of divorces, it is wise for those going through a breakup to contact an experienced Pennsylvania property division attorney. This legal professional can help advocate for a property division settlement that works best for your unique situation.


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