New York, NY- It’s really no secret that divorces can get really nasty and in particularly acrimonious one or both parties launch a campaign to destroy on another. But as a New York woman learned, talking trash about your soon-to-be-former spouse can lead to a significantly smaller divorce settlement.
Ira and Janice Schacter married in 1988 and have two children together, but their marriage was less than happy. A physical altercation in 2007 would be the final straw, and the couple decided to part ways. Janice’s accused her husband of abuse and got media coverage, but criminal charges were dropped.
During the nearly eight-year long divorce battle, Janice Schacter, 51, publically shamed her husband Ira, a high-powered partner at a prestigious New York law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft. On top of the abuse allegations, she accused him of refusing to buy her daughter a hearing aid and, instead spent $200,000 to purchase an engagement ring for a Playboy model.
Janice’s campaign to destroy her hubby worked, and over time her continued public-shaming caused her attorney husband, who earned $5 million a year when the couple filed for divorce, to see a significant drop in his yearly income. Ira told the court he was only making $627,000 a year by the time the couple headed to court in 2012.
Janice stood to get half of his income, but her vindictive nature and trash-talking hurt her in the long run. And now her settlement is much smaller than she stood to gain had she just kept those nasty things to herself.
“In essence, the wife chose to bite the hand that fed her,” Justice Jan Drager said in her decision. Justice Drager also noted the stories about the hearing aid were misleading; the Schacter’s daughter had hearing aids, but the couple was having a legal battle over who should pay for them.
“The wife was well within her rights to publicly raise her concerns about domestic violence,” Justice Drager wrote, “However, the wife’s incessant postings and discussions about the husband went beyond any reasonable discussion of this very serious issue.”
Instead of receiving half of $5 million, Janice was awarded an $827,000 divorce settlement, nothing to scoff at by any means, but it could have been more. She won’t be going to the poor house though as the New York Daily News reports: “She was also awarded half of the former couple’s $10.5 million in other marital assets including proceeds from the sales of a $4.4 million Manhattan townhouse, a $4.5 million Bridgehampton summer home and $400,000 worth of jewelry. Finally she’ll get up to $21,000 a month in spousal and child support plus the family Lexus.”
Personal disputes and disagreements among divorcing couples is not unusual, but Janice Schacter learned the hard way how scorched earth campaign against your ex can be harmful for both parties and their children. Divorce attorneys understand the ways in which a client’s anger and resentment can affect the outcome of their case and will keep their clients from making a serious mistake like Janice Schacter.