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New York divorce complicated by civil litigation

A Manhattan real estate tycoon has embroiled himself in the messy divorce battle involving his daughter and soon-to-be ex-son-in-law.

The high asset divorce is complicated by the commingled business interests of the husband and his father-in-law, and involves allegations of retaliation via spying on corporate emails, alienation of business interests and a reduction in corporate holdings.

The husband matriculated at both Harvard and Yale. He is a former New York City Planning Commissioner who worked for Mayor Giuliani from 1993 - 2001 before joining his real estate magnate father-in-law in the Georgetown Company. He married his wife in 1996 at the East Hampton mansion owned by his father-in-law and his second wife, Candice Bergen.

Initially, the marriage thrived, as the couple settled in for family vacations at their "cottage" in the Hamptons worth several million dollars, went out in the evenings to charity dinners and produced two children.

A civil suit filed recently in the Manhattan Supreme Court states that the elder man initially was fond of his son-in-law and was glad to have him join the company due to his "noteworthy experience, exceptional credentials and comprehensive contacts in the real-estate ­industry."

The younger man said that he was retaliated against for separating in 2010 from his wife. His suit alleges that his father-in-law froze him out of the company by locking him out of a Washington, D.C., development deal with the Four Seasons that was worth $19.5 million, reducing his percentage in the company to .01 percent from 21 percent and eliminating his health insurance, staff and private office.

Further allegations include the intentional dissemination of the man's business and personal emails "for use by [his father-in-law's] daughter and her reps in divorce-settlement negotiations."

A spokesman for the Georgetown Company issued a statement expressing sadness over the man's attempt to entangle his father-in-law into the acrimonious but unrelated divorce action with the filing of his civil litigation.

To resolve a complex divorce satisfactorily requires the finesse and legal experience of a New York family law attorney who can arrange the best deal for his or her client and their dependents.

Source: New York Post, "Real-estate family tangled in prickly divorce" Julia Marsh and Laura Italiano, May. 01, 2014

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