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Court Decides Divorce in Light of Domestic Violence Allegations

A Jewish couple married in August 1973. At that time, the husband was 22 and the wife was 18. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the husband was in dental school and wife chose to keep house until after the husband finished his dental studies. When the husband became a dentist and had established a dental practice, it was the wife who took care of all the details of the practice including the hiring and firing of his employees.

The wife was able to finish four college degrees during the pendency of her marriage and had taken a licensure examination as a social worker. The wife also set up a foundation that aimed to help Jewish women who were victims of domestic violence get a Jewish divorce.

The couple had four children. At the time of the divorce proceeding in 2004, the two older children were already adults and married with children of their own. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the third child was 20 years old but still in college and was dependent upon the support of his parents. The youngest child was 13 years old.

The couple decided to emigrate to Israel and for that purpose, the husband bought an apartment and the child was enrolled in a Hebrew language class to prepare her for entering school in Israel.

When they were in Israel, the husband attended a Hebrew language school so that he can sit for the dental examinations and begin a dental practice in Israel. The wife also sat for her social work licensure examination.

The husband had not terminated his dental practice in New York and instead planned to travel from Israel back to New York every eight weeks to supervise the dental practice in New York.
On one of his scheduled trips to New York, the wife insisted on accompanying her husband. She also insisted on taking their youngest child with them back to New York even if at that time, the child was in the middle of her school term.

The wife insisted until the husband gave in and brought his wife and daughter back to New York. He bought two-way tickets for the three of them because all the while, he thought that their trip back to New York was just temporary.

On the day that they were supposed to return to Israel, the wife refused to return with her husband. She also told her husband that their daughter refused to go back to Israel and wanted to stay permanently in New York.

A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said the husband, exhausted and frustrated with all the expense incurred in relocating to Israel at the express wishes of his wife, and was then confronted with his wife’s unreasonable refusal to return to Israel got so angry, he locked himself in their daughter’s room with his daughter. He had his gun with him and asked his daughter to decide where she wanted to stay. The daughter was terrified and screamed for help. The mother came and rescued the daughter.

Unknown to the husband, as soon as they arrived in New York from Israel, the wife had already applied for an ex-parte Order of Protection from the King’s County Family Court. Her refusal to return to Israel was because she had not yet finished the process of applying for the order of protection.

A day after the husband locked himself with his daughter in her bedroom the police came and served the order of protection. The wife and daughter went to live for seven months at the house of his in-laws. Later, the husband gave up his possession of the family home and his wife and daughter came to live in the family home. The wife later withdrew the application for an order of protection.

The husband brought a case for habeas corpus against his wife and mother-in-law alleging that the two women had kidnapped his daughter and refused to allow him to see his daughter. He also alleged that his wife’s actions and hysterics had caused his daughter’s affections to be alienated from him. The husband later withdrew this case for habeas corpus.

The husband then filed for divorce. In the wife’s answer, she claimed that she is entitled to sole custody of their daughter and a larger share of the distribution of the marital assets because she had been the victim of domestic during the 31 years of their marriage. The wife wants a declaration that the domestic violence in the marriage was egregious that it shocks the court’s senses.

The wife claimed that she was sexually abused by her husband who forced himself upon her four times during their 31 year marriage. She claimed that her husband verbally abused her and that he had problems controlling his anger. He claimed that he assaulted her, pushed her, and slammed the car door on her. She claims that she had broken her wrist and herniated a disk because of the domestic violence he had committed against her.

The Court found the woman’s claim and testimony of domestic violence and marital abuse as not credible. The Court found that the wife has not submitted any evidence of any injury whatsoever. Her injuries were largely self-diagnosed. The police reports she alluded to were non-existent. Their family therapist and marriage counselor who allegedly kept all the evidence of the abuse was deceased and no such evidence was found among his papers by his widow.
The Court found the marriage dysfunctional. The wife is controlling and always has to have her way. Her own therapist who testified in the divorce proceeding concluded that the domestic violence she complained of was largely in her mind. Her husband is withdrawn and has distanced himself from his wife, allowing her control in their daily life and when he has reached the limit of his patience was also prone to fits of anger.

The daughter’s alienation from the husband was brought about by the husband’s outburst and the incident where he locked himself in his daughter’s room while he was holding a gun. But the Court also noted that the wife had done her best to make their daughter a pawn in her marital discord with her husband. The wife has manipulated both her daughter and her husband.
The husband has consented to a divorce both in the civil courts and in the Jewish religious court. The only remaining issue in these divorce proceedings is the distribution of the assets.
The Court warned the mother that further attempts to alienate the child from her father will result in fines imposed upon her. Both the child and the mother have to submit themselves to therapy. The order of protection is withdrawn.

The Court recognized that some form of domestic violence occurred: verbal abuse and threats. But the Court also concluded that the level of domestic violence is not egregious and these scenes of domestic violence were not committed in front of the children or upon them. The acts of both the husband and wife were acts of rage in their marital tug of war as they haggled for control over the marriage and the assets of their marriage.

Domestic violence is a ground for divorce. If the domestic violence is proved to be egregious and shocking to the senses, domestic violence may be a ground for an inequitable distribution of the assets of the marriage during a divorce. NY Domestic Violence Lawyers can help you prove that acts of domestic violence occurred during the marriage. Whether you have been charged with domestic violence, sex crimes or assault, The NY Domestic Violence attorneys at Stephen Bilkis and Associates are here to help.

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