Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Hard-Ball Tactics Seem to Backfire in High-Level Divorce Case

"In one of the most costly and hard-fought custody battles in Connecticut family court history, Guilford cosmeceutical magnate Nicholas V. Perricone only started winning the moment he stopped fighting.

In a strongly worded opinion, New Haven Complex Litigation Docket Judge Lynda B. Munro recently declined to follow either the joint custody recommendation of the court-appointed psychiatrist or Munro's own joint custody order of 11 months earlier. Instead, invoking her judicial duty to rule in the best interests of the child -- the couple's 7-year-old daughter -- Munro awarded the husband sole legal custody.

Multimillionaire Perricone -- a nationally known skin doctor, best-selling health writer and anti-aging guru -- successfully markets wrinkle creams for as much as $570 for a 2-ounce bottle. The small army of lawyers and experts for the warring parents may be paid with Perricone's money, but it's his wrinkle cream that they may end up needing before the case is over.

Madeline Perricone's pendente lite award for legal fees and costs was a stunning $750,000. Both parents, Munro noted in her opinion, "are wealthy beyond the normal person's ken and able to finance this litigation ad nauseum. Indeed the pendente lite litigation was an obscene display by the plaintiff of his ability to retain seemingly endless strategic resources -- but he stopped and agreed in March 2004 to joint custody." From that point, Munro observed, his ex-wife "is the one who has not been able to stop."" By Thomas B. Scheffey, The Connecticut Law Tribune Link to Article (last visited 10-12-05 NVS)

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