NYC judge orders walls to come down in protracted divorce case

It’s fairly common to hear about couples heading toward divorce putting up emotional walls to keep one another out of their lives as much as possible. However, a long-estranged New York City couple – Simon and Chana Taub – appear to have taken this idea to a whole new level.

In the summer of 2005, a judge ruled that Simon – the former owner of a lucrative knitwear company – could move back into the couple’s three-story Brooklyn brownstone after being thrown out on one condition: the couple build a wall that fairly divided the structure in two.

While Chana tried to fight the judge’s order via the appellate courts, she was ultimately unsuccessful.

Accordingly, the wall was built in the marital home in December 2006.

Simon T. was given all of the first floor and part of the second, while Chana was given all of the third floor and part of the second (a barricaded door separates the couple on the second floor). As for the aforementioned wall, it separates a staircase leading upstairs from the first floor living room.

Interestingly, the couple was recently granted a divorce just last month – New York only became a no-fault divorce state in 2010 and a jury had previously denied the Taubs a divorce under the old fault-based laws – and the presiding judge issued a very interesting ruling regarding the brownstone.

Specifically, the judge ordered the couple to tear down the wall and sell the brownstone (along with two other properties) and split the profits evenly. In addition, Simon was ordered to pay Chana $1.5 million as well as $6,000 a month in spousal support.

While both of the Taubs still occupy the brownstone, it appears that only Chana is unsatisfied with the decision and that she plans to pursue an appeal.

“She’s now in a position to be dispossessed,” said Neil Iovino, Chana’s attorney. “She was most upset that the properties in her name and especially the property she lives in should be sold.”

Simon’s representation, however, indicated it is time for this six-year legal battle to come to a conclusion.

“Everything has been dismissed, time and time again, and she comes back for more,” said Abe Konstam, Simon’s attorney. “At some point this has to come to an end.”

Stay tuned for more on this story from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about dissolution of marriage or life after divorce, contact an experienced legal or financial professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Related Resources:

NYC couple who split house with wall get divorce (Google News)