GREAT NECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island man is claiming a crooked court system and an unrelenting wife are to blame for one of the longest-running divorce cases in New York State.
Joseph Yerushalmi of Great Neck has been trying to divorce his wife for the past 12 years, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.
He told D’Auria his wife, Malka, who he married in 1971, can afford high-priced attorneys and they are the ones who keep postponing the case unreasonably.
Yerushalmi, who is an attorney and representing himself in the case, said his wife is “very tough, very insensitive and only thing that she sees is money – money, money, money.”
Yerushalmi is currently living in his 10,000-square-foot, $7 million home that he used to share with his wife, but the home is in a trust for his granddaughter.
The 73-year-old claims the only money he has is his $2,500 monthly Social Security check.
“I don’t have a penny to pay her. I live on Social Security. I don’t pay her,” Yerushalmi said.
As CBS 2’s Hael Sanchez reported, Yerushalmi said Malka lied about her net worth by concealing her inheritance from her father’s $1.2 million estate while he lost millions dealing with her demands for marital support.
Malka’s attorney, however, claims that Yerushalmi is causing the delays by filing for bankruptcy, suing his law partners and fighting with the Internal Revenue Service.
“She would very much like to be divorced and to move on with her life,” Malka Yerushalmi’s attorney Alexander Kaplan said in a statement.
“This story about the bankruptcy is bogus. She could continue without any delay,” Yerushalmi said.
Yerushalmi claims to have spent close to $3 million in legal fees, spousal maintenance and other charges. He said he’s amassed a 6-foot stack of bills and paperwork in his defense.
The Yerushalmis will be back in court in May. Both sides say in a perfect world, the divorce will be finalized within a year.
The Yerushalmis have been married for 43 years and have two adult children.
Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com: