Divorce case drags on for a decade

A decade-long property division and child custody case in Connecticut shows no signs of conclusion, despite the fortune that has been spent on attorneys' fees. The couple, consisting of a former investment banker and his ex-wife, is still entangled in child custody and visitation disputes, with an increasing number of court dates further confounding the issue. Bitterness from both parties has driven even the judge in the case to his wit's end.

The judge said the case had spun wildly out of control during the past 10 years, with both sides refusing to give ground on property division and child custody matters. The couple formally divorced in 2005 after filing the initial paperwork in 2003, but the ongoing custody and visitation disputes have caused the matter to become unwieldy. The man in the case seems to be upset that his ex-wife provided information that led to the downfall of his career. She provided the Securities and Exchange Commission with evidence that the man and his colleagues had been engaged in insider trading. The husband in this case was required to pay $250,000 in connection with the case, while two other men handed over some $28 million for their role in the scheme.

The woman and her current husband received a $1 million reward from the SEC for their cooperation in the matter - that is the largest award that has ever been handed down from that organization. The man, however, won a $2.1 million settlement from his former employers for a wrongful termination suit that was filed shortly after the firm closed. His ex-wife alleges that the award was not properly disclosed during their divorce.

Although contentious divorces sometimes drag on, most do not last for 10 full years. Acrimony and bitterness toward the other party can delay progress in the cases. In order to expedite a divorce, a couple should seek compromise. Still, some individuals will only comply with court orders, and an aggressive legal strategy is needed. Family attorneys can advise clients about the correct approach for their situation.