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Palm Beach Real Estate Royalty Give New Meaning to High Asset Divorce

Even people who do not have a romantic bone in their bodies find it heartwarming to see elderly couples who have been married for many decades. For example, after Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on Florida, readers all across the country took comfort in the news story about Harvey and Irma Schluter, a Washington state couple who have been married since 1942. Florida’s divorce lawyers know, though, that not all long marriages result in couples living happily ever after.  Divorce cases involving couples who have been married for more than two decades are often the most complex when it comes to property division, especially if the couple is wealthy. The divorce case of Burt and Lucille “Lovey” Handelsman, which has made news headlines recently, practically sets records for complex divorce, both because of the length of the marriage and because of the high value of the couple’s jointly owned assets.

Who are Burt and Lovey Handelsman?

Even if you have not heard the names Burt and Lovey Handelsman, their business dealings play a role in the lives of many Floridians. The Handelsmans own approximately $750 million in commercial real estate in Florida and New York state. Among their most famous holdings are the upscale shops on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. Burt and Lovey are both in their late 80s; they have gradually built their real estate empire over the course of their 67-year marriage, and their three children are also involved in the family business.

In 2016, Lovey filed for divorce, convinced that Burt was having an extramarital affair with Jane Rankin, a friend of the Handelsmans who has also been involved with the family real estate business.  Burt denies the affair; he believes that the couple’s children have intentionally alienated Lovey from him, thinking that they will gain more of the family wealth sooner if their parents divorce. The couple’s son and two daughters deny these claims.

What is Notable About the Handelsmans’ Divorce?

First, there are long marriages, and then there is 67 years. There is wealthy, and then there is $750 million dollars, including some of the most stylish hangouts in Delray Beach, Key West, and Palm Beach. Burt is not the only person surprised that an 88-year-old woman would decide to divorce the man to whom she has been married since her early 20s, after they have had children and grandchildren together and have gone from modest means to being some of the wealthiest people in Florida. From a legal standpoint, though, perhaps the most notable thing is that Lovey’s attorney requested to have the judge issue a decree of dissolution of marriage quickly, even before financial matters have been resolved. It is possible for judges to finalize divorces which postponing decisions about division of property, but this usually happens when one party has a terminal illness. Because the Handelsmans are very healthy for their age, the divorce trial will begin in February 2018.

Contact Alan Burton About High Asset Divorce

You do not have to own the fanciest shops in Palm Beach for division of property to be complicated and confusing. Contact Alan R. Burton in Boca Raton, Florida with questions about your divorce case.