Judge Reduces Wife’s Equitable Distribution Due to Bad Behavior

father's rights lawyer on long islandThis is a story about an acrimonious divorce between two lawyers, Ira Schacter and Janice Schacter. Ira was a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, a prestigious Manhattan law firm. Janice had gone to law school and worked as an associate at a law firm that handled personal injury cases. She had stopped practicing law after her daughter was born.

The Case

The case was presented before Manhattan Supreme Court Judge, Laura Drager. In discussing the case, she referred to it as “one of the most contentious litigations this court has ever presided over.” Judge Drager took into consideration Janice’s bad behavior and awarded her only 17% of Mr. Schacter’s valuable partnership at the Cadwalader law firm. Judge Drager stated in her decision “in essence the wife chose to bite the hand that fed her. Although the court recognizes that the wife feels she was badly treated by the husband, her repeated attacks against him have played a part in a diminishing of his income.”

The attorneys for Mr. Schacter argued his wife’s conduct during the course of the divorce “has so interfered with his ability to retain clients that she actively caused the value of his partnership interest to decline.”

ACS Claims

During the course of their litigation, Ira was the subject of seven separate investigations by the Administration for Children’s Services. ACS investigators visited his home more than 100 times. Each time they investigated him, they found the allegations made by his wife against him were unfounded.

Judge Drager found Janice had been involved in a number of instances creating negative publicity for her husband. She had regularly posted negative information with regard to her husband on websites.

Although Judge Drager only gave the wife 17% of the value of Mr. Schacter’s partnership, the Judge valued the partnership at $4,170,000. Therefore Ms. Schacter’s 17% share was $855,000. In addition, Mr. Schacter paid his wife’s attorneys’ approximately $460,000 and paid $70,000 in the wife’s expert fees. Mrs. Schacter also received a share of the parties’ $4.1 million house located in the Hamptons, a portion of the $4.4 million townhouse in the city, and equitable distribution of Mr. Schacter’s retirement accounts, cars, and other assets.


The judge’s comments about Mrs. Schacter who bit the hand that fed her says it all!divorce attorney for fathers

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 45 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.