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New York might want to rethink this law

roses.jpgThe Brooklyn version of The War of the Roses continues on its weird way. If you haven’t heard of this case, Chana Taub is trying to divorce her husband of over 20 years, Simon Taub. Chana claims that Simon abused her, physically and mentally, throughout their relationship, and she’s had enough. So she filed for divorce, citing “cruel and inhuman treatment” as the grounds. Simon of course denies all of this, and says he treated her like royalty. He claims she’s just trying to squeeze every last dime out of him in light of their increasing financial problems (his company went bankrupt in the late ’90s, and he’s had two heart attacks which have also pinched the couple’s wallets).

This divorce case took a bizarre turn, however, when neither Taub was willing to move out of their house. So the judge overseeing the divorce case ordered the couple to put up a wall in their three-floor home, giving them each their piece of the pie, similar to what Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner’s characters did in Roses:

[Chana] got the top floor and the kitchen on the second floor; [Simon] got the living room on the first floor and the dining room on the second floor. The door between the dining room and the kitchen was barricaded on both sides.

A large cause of the legal complications here come from the fact that New York has a law which does not allow a couple to get a timely divorce unless there’s solid evidence that one of the spouses is at fault for the marriage’s failure (e.g., one of them was having an affair). Since Taub didn’t have such proof, she was forced to pursue the divorce through a lengthy trial.

But here’s the kicker - a jury has now ruled that the couple cannot get divorced! After the jury issued its ruling, Justice Carolyn Demarest said the case was being dismissed, although Chana can file it again on new grounds if she wants.

This is totally going to end up like a “Law & Order” episode, where one of the Taub’s kills the other, but the criminal murder trial turns into a jury referendum on the NY divorce laws. I can just see the “ripped from the headlines” advertisement now.