Have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you?” Chances are, you have; however, many of us have never had a real-life application for the saying. The same cannot be said for Upper East Side divorcee Janice Schacter.
In April 2014, Judge Laura Drager cut Janice Schacter’s stake in her ex-husband’s law firm from $2.5 million to $855,000 (Marsh, 2014). That’s a staggering drop of over $1.5 million. The reason for the cut? Judge Drager asserted that Schacter’s repeated attacks on her husband’s character had damaged his career as a lawyer, according to the New York Post.
Janice Schacter has repeatedly attacked her husband’s character during their seven-year divorce, including saying that he was refusing to pay for his daughter’s hearing aids but had shelled out $215,000 for an engagement ring for his new fiancée. Her attacks allegedly caused damage to his reputation, which caused him to lose clients and ultimately caused a loss in income.
In the case of Ira Schacter, his ex-wife’s claims resulted in him being (involuntarily) entered in the running for the negative award of Lawyer of the Month.
Obviously, the former Mrs. Schacter was not pleased with this ruling. In response to the judge’s decision, she said, “I bit the hand that hurt me, not fed me.”
While it was Janice Schacter that lost what could be described as a fortune, Ira was not blameless. Judge Drager was sure to point out his mistakes as well. The article reported, “He was arrested for barging into his now 19-year-old daughter’s therapy session, grabbing scissors, pointing them at his chest and declaring that the teen was ‘stabbing him in the heart by her failure to communicate with him.’”
The important lesson to take away from this story is that your words during a divorce can have a huge impact on the outcome of those proceedings. While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the heat of the moment and to lash out at your soon-to-be ex, it’s advisable that you try to remain calm and professional. Do not make unfounded, derogatory claims against your spouse to his or her colleagues, to the press, before the judge, on social media platforms like Facebook, or to mutual friends. While you may want to hurt your spouse in return for the pain he or she has caused you, you are only inviting trouble and may ultimately end up hurting yourself.