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DivorceProperty DivisionDivorce Denied in Grounds Trial: Jury Rules Married Till Death

March 29, 2007

In January, I wrote about the Taubs, who put up a wall and divided their home in two during the divorce.

Well, the jury spoke and denied Mrs. Taub her divorce.  (You can request a jury trial on the issue of grounds in New York).

As detailed in Daily News:

In a divorce battle that has gotten more and more bizarre, Chana Taub asked a Brooklyn Supreme Court panel to dissolve her 21-year marriage to Simon Taub. Both listened in stunned silence Tuesday as the jury said they could not separate. . .

But in keeping them married, the six-member jury rejected Chana’s stated grounds for divorce, that Simon had subjected her to “cruel and inhuman treatment.”

The wacky case began two years ago, when Chana said she wanted out of the marriage and Simon refused.

Although most divorce cases are decided by judges, Chana Taub sought a jury trial because she said she thought she would get a fairer hearing.

The real-life “War of the Roses” got so nasty Simon Taub built a wall dividing the Hasidic Jewish couple’s Borough Park brownstone to keep them apart.

During the 10-day trial, Chana Taub testified that she needed more than a wall to protect her against his abusive streak. She said he has attacked her with everything from a telephone to a treadmill during their hellish 21-year marriage. Their four children testified against him.

Tuesday’s astonishing jury decision came after just five hours of deliberations, leaving the warring couple speechless, albeit temporarily. …
Simon Taub’s lawyer Abe Konstam called the case, “a colossal waste of judicial time.”

He said the case would have easily been settled if New York allowed married couples to split based on irreconcilable differences, like most states.

Yesterday, Chana Taub made a new allegation that her husband punched her in the eye.   when they  returned to their divided house after the jury’s decision Tuesday evening.

“He was yelling, ‘I’m going to break down the wall. I’m going to get rid of her. I’m going to get the whole house,'” said Chana Taub, sporting a bloodshot right eye.

She claimed her husband got rough when she tried to serve him with a restraining order.

But Simon Taub denied the fresh allegations of abuse, insisting they were a continuation of a smear campaign his wife began during the trial. . .

He raced to Brooklyn Family Court yesterday to get his own order of protection – while his wife was in the same courthouse trying to get a judge to look at her shiner.

But yesterday, Simon Taub said he was ready to “negotiate” and  that the lawyers should work it out.

If New York did not force divorcing parties to prove grounds, but instead allowed for a no-fault divorce, cases like this, where the parties are in a “dead” marriage, but are compelled to remain married, would not occur.

While this jury probably gave the parties what they really deserved (being stuck to each other), the result is a terrible waste of judicial resources and time. The parties wasted precious Court trial time and now are further burdening the Family Court with their suspect petitions seeking orders of protection.

All this could have been avoided if New York recognized irreconcilable differences as a basis for divorce.


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