Judge orders warring couple to build wall across flat

By Ellen Tumposky, July 8, 2010
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She wants him out of the house. He thinks she should be the one to leave.

A judge thinks the solution for a warring Orthodox Jewish couple in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, might be for both of them to stay put.

So he has suggested that they consider building a wall to divide their roomy flat into very distinct "his" and "hers" sections.

Judge Eric Prus of Brooklyn Supreme Court floated the suggestion in the acrimonious and ongoing divorce proceedings between Pinchus and Nechama Gold. The case was most recently in court last week.

The couple cannot even agree on which Beth Din to consult

"I filed a motion to kick him out of the house," explained Brian Perskin, the lawyer for Mrs Gold, but he said Mr Gold insisted he did not want to leave.

"The judge said, 'Well, it's a really big house'. One of the remedies is to divide up the house."

The property already has two entrances - so the couple, who have been married for more than 20 years and have five children, wouldn't even have to bump into each other in the doorway.

"He could carve out a small place for himself," said Mr Perskin.

But "small" might not be what Mr Gold has in mind. His lawyer, Abe Konstam, says the Golds do not see eye-to-eye on the topic of wall any more than they do on other any of the other issues.

"My client has plans about how he wants to put up the wall - the wife has plans on how she wants to put up the wall. He has a blueprint, and I'm sure she does too," he said.

Mr Perskin says that Mr Gold, who does not work but receives disability payments, is verbally abusive and something of a "character.

"He just gives her a hard time. He basically blows out the Shabbos candles purposely on a Friday night."

Mr Gold insists that his wife does not cook for him and has made him sleep in the dining room for the past two years.

The couple cannot even agree on which beth din to consult.

According to Mr Perskin, Mrs Gold is resisting pressure from her husband to go to one in Queens that she suspects might be unsympathetic to her, rather than one she trusts in
Williamsburg.

If the judge does order that the wall be built - the case is due to be heard later this month - the ruling would not be without legal precedent. In a 2007 divorce case, in which Mr Konstam also represented the husband, the spacious Brooklyn home of sweater king Simon Taub and his wife Chana was divided by a partition.

That wall is still up, and the Taubs still are not divorced, says Mr
Konstam. "The wife keeps getting extensions," he says.

On the legal proceedings that is - not on the house.

    Last updated: 1:39pm, July 8 2010