A 10-Year Connecticut Divorce Trial
A 10-year divorce trial is back in court over the next few months as former Connecticut investment advisor David Zilkha, 44, and his ex-wife Karen Kaiser, 48, continue to fight over their children and assets. Kaiser initially filed for divorce in August of 2003, claiming their five-year marriage had “broken down irretrievably.” Although the divorce was granted on May 31, 2005, the case dragged on with over 600 motions being filed on both sides. Judge Michael Shay commented on the trial last year; “There are some cases that for whatever reason… sort of spin out of control. It seems impossible, it seems intractable, sometimes to pull them back and try to get them on the right track, and that’s what I’m trying to do here.”
Claims of Alienation
David Zilkha hasn’t seen his 12-year-old twin daughter and son for four years. While his ex says Zilkha refuses to see his own children, Zilkha claims seeing his children is prohibited by the price tag of $5k per visit due to the conditions attached to the supervised visits. (I am not clear about the tenses here, there are present and future tenses in this one sentence. “Basically my kids and I have been brutalized,” Zilkha said, “It’s been soul destroying.& Zilkha accuses his ex of alienating his children against him and lying to authorities while Kaiser charges Zilkha for lying and trying to destroy her credibility and even punched her in the face. Zilkha was initially found to be a severe narcissist and shouldn’t be allowed to see the children, but several therapists have since disagreed with the finding.
Co-Parenting in Divorce Cases
“It is a testament to the court system that cases like this are few and far between,” said Erin Schneiderman, an attorney at Weinberger Law Group in New Jersey, “The majority of time, parents are able to work together in the best interest of their children. But, there certainly are cases when parents are not able to co-parent and must revert to experts and Judges to make decisions for them and their family. It is very unfortunate because litigation like this only hurts the children.”
The case was further complicated in 2009 when Kaiser received a $1 million reward for providing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials with emails she saved from her ex-husbands home. The emails indicated that in 2001 Zilkha provided inside trading information about Microsoft Corp. to the founder and chairman of Pequot, Arthur Samberg, who made more than $14 million for the Pequot funds. Later SEC obtained a $250,000 judgment against Zilkha. Pequot fired Zilkha but then paid $2.1 million settlement in a wrongful termination lawsuit. The last of the three installments has been delayed as the payment may be taken into account in the final divorce trial settlement.