Fort Lauderdale, FL- The divorce of South Florida real-estate mogul Burton Handelsman contains many salacious elements that make it a divorce scandal straight out of Hollywood. There are millions of dollars at stake, an extended affair, and a wife no longer able to take her husband’s philandering. But the players in this drama aren’t young actors in their prime, as the salacious allegations would suggest. Oddly enough the players in this divorce drama are well into their eighties.
In March, Lucille Handelsman, the 87-year-old wife of Burton Handelsman, who owns significant chunks of land in South Florida, filed for divorce, accusing her husband of having a long-standing affair with his female real-estate attorney.
In a court deposition, Lucille Handelsman said she suspected her husband of cheating with Jane Rankin, who is 28 years his junior.
According to the Daily Mail, Lucille Handelsman cannot walk without assistance and has been relying solely on her husband. The couple married nearly 60 years ago, so it’s not likely that they have a prenuptial agreement.
Burt Handelsman owns multiple buildings in Palm Beach, Key West, Florida, New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut, the Daily Mail reports. It’s hard to say just how much he’s worth, but his real-estate holdings are worth an estimated 500 million, so he’s very wealthy.
Even if Mr. Handelsman is cheating on his wife, it won’t have much of an impact on the final divorce settlement. There was a time when it may have but Florida is a no-fault divorce state, and that means a spouse’s actions during the marriage don’t have much of a bearing on alimony or how assets are allocated. Courts might take cheating into consideration when dividing a couple’s assets if the cheating spouse spent significant amounts of a couple’s money on their lover.
In regards to property and asset division, Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means Mr. Handelman’s property and assets will be divided be considering each spouse’s contribution to the marriage, assets bought into the marriage, the value of the property being divided and the income of each spouse. Assets that one spouse owned before marrying remain theirs in divorce.
Divorce is complicated whether a couple is wealthy or not, so USAttorneys urges all couples to consult with a divorce lawyer in Fort Lauderdale before they file for divorce. They can handle all of the paperwork, submissions, and settlement negotiations, so you can focus on making the transition from married to single.
A divorce attorney will take the necessary steps to minimize the conflicts and guide a couple to a peaceful resolution of the acrimonious issues. If you live in Fort Lauderdale, we recommend you contact the law offices of King Lindsey, P.A. at (954) 867-6518 and set up a consultation.