In a case this past summer, Justice Dickerson, a Supreme Court Judge sitting in Rockland County, New York, ordered a Hassidic woman to return a hundred-thousand dollar engagement ring to her betrothed. The man claimed he didn’t know when he gave her the ring at a religious wedding ceremony that she was still married to someone else. The woman appealed this decision. The Appellate Division of the Second Department held that this was a question of fact as to whether he knew she was married or not and it should have been decided after a trial, not on a motion for summary judgment. New York Civil Rights law section 80-b deals with the return of engagement rings. Larry Lipschultz gave his fiancee, Nadia Kinderman, a six carrot diamond ring in the summer of 2006. Thereafter, the Hassidic couple were married in an Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony. Thereafter Mr. Lipschultz learned that his wife never obtained a civil divorce from her first husband. To say he was unhappy about this would be an understatement. They separated on September 13, 2007, less then a year after they were married. Mr. Libschultz thereafter filed an action demanding either $150,000 in cash or the return of the ring. He claimed that, under New York Civil Rights Law section 80-b, he was entitled to the recovery of the ring given as an engagement present on the basis of being in consideration for marriage. His wife claimed he knew all along she was still married and therefore she should be entitled to keep the ring. The issue presented was whether he knew that she was not legally divorced. If he had knowledge of this, then the court could be justified in allowing his wife to keep the ring. The moral to this story is don’t buy a six carrot, $100,000 to $150,000 engagement ring. Two carrots would have been more than enough!
We negotiate pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements for our client. In cases where our clients are professionals, have assets or have been previously married, we aggressively litigate all issues dealing with our clients’ high net worth statuses. We also deal with obtaining child custody for our clients. When our clients solely seek visitation, we see to it that they have liberal visitation. Child support and spousal maintenance issues (alimony) are significant issues that must be dealt with in all divorces. We see to that our clients’ rights are protected concerning these issues. Should allegations of domestic violence arise, we very aggressively litigate these issues and protect our clients’ rights and privileges. We also deal with issues concerning paternity, relocation problems, parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome issues. We also try to avoid litigation and negotiate separation agreements for our clients. Sometimes grandparents are cut off in divorces. In these cases, we litigate grandparents’ rights issues for our clients. Call us for a free consultation.