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September 9, 2013

Conn. divorce case past 10-year mark and still not at resolution

STAMFORD, Conn. — It’s a divorce and child visitation case that already has produced nearly 600 motions and rulings and evidence of insider trading that brought down a multibillion-dollar hedge fund.

And as it passes the 10-year mark, the case of former Connecticut investment adviser David Zilkha and his ex-wife, Karen Kaiser, shows no signs of nearing a final resolution. They remain embroiled in disputes over child visitation and fees for hired experts, with more court hearings set for the next two months.

The acrimony has included mudslinging by both sides and prompted a show of frustration from the judge.

“There are some cases that for whatever reason ... sort of spin out of control,” Judge Michal Shay said during a hearing in Stamford Superior Court last year. “It seems impossible, it seems intractable, sometimes to pull them back and try to get them on the right track, and that’s what I’m trying to do here.”

David Zilkha, who hasn’t seen his 12-year-old twin son and daughter for four years, alleges in court documents that Kaiser is refusing to schedule “unification therapy” for him and the children that both sides agreed on in January. He also has accused Kaiser of lying repeatedly to authorities about him and alienating the children from him.

Kaiser claims Zilkha also has lied to authorities, subjected her to libelous smear campaigns to damage her reputation and once punched her in the face, according to documents in the divorce case and a defamation lawsuit she has filed against Zilkha.

A court-ordered mental evaluation also alleged Zilkha has such a severe narcissistic personality disorder that he shouldn’t be allowed to see the children, a claim Zilkha strongly disputes and says has been debunked by prominent therapists who evaluated him.

Court documents filed by Kaiser say Zilkha has had the ability to see the children under supervised visitation but has refused to do so. Zilkha is protesting the conditions of supervised visitation and says the sessions are prohibitively expensive, costing him more than $5,000 per visit.

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