When a couple decides to divorce, it is often the first difficult division of many. After that comes questions of property division, child custody and alimony to name only a few. In a high-asset divorce, these issues get even more complicated as the amount of worth to be divided is so much greater. For a top producer and his estranged wife, things got dicey after the producer sold some $500,000 worth of dishware to his co-worker, the infamous Judge Judy, for only $50,000.
The separating California couple was in the midst of a divorce when the producer sold the dishware to Judge Judy for a fraction of its value. Now, the wife is bringing a lawsuit against the famous Judge which alleges she conspired with the producer to deprive her of the dishware. According to news sources, the wife claims that Judge Judy was well aware that California is a community property state, a fact that means that wife is entitled to half of all assets acquired during marriage. With that knowledge then, apparently the judge must have known that half that dishware was not the producer’s to sell.
Judge Judy, faithful to her character in the media, has not responded kindly to such accusations. She claims she does not owe anything to the wife and further urges the woman to get a job rather than spend her time instituting a lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims that the judge was not a bona fide purchaser for value, a requirement in order to obtain rightful ownership of any item. If the court rules in the wife’s favor, Judge Judy may be forced to return the items.
Divorce, particularly a high-asset one, can be quite complicated. A couple in a community property state cannot sell jointly owned items without the other spouse’s consent. During divorce, the court often determines how such assets are divided. Although it appears the producer may have attempted to take matters into his own hands in this situation.
Source: New York Daily News, “Lawsuit says Judge Judy conspired to buy $500,000 woth of jointly owned flatware for a pittance to hurt a co-worker’s estranged wife,” Nancy Dillon, March 12, 2013.