Pequot, which was a major investment firm that managed $15 billion in assets at its peak in 2001, shut down in 2009 amid the SEC investigation.
Pequot fired Zilkha in late 2001, but he later won a $2.1 million settlement in a wrongful termination lawsuit. The settlement, which was to be paid in three installments, became an issue — and is still an issue — in the divorce case, with Kaiser accusing Zilkha of not disclosing the award. Payment of the third installment has been delayed because of court proceedings.
Most divorce cases are nothing like Kaiser and Zilkha’s case in terms of length and the volume of paperwork, said Carolyn Wilkes Kaas, an associate law professor at Quinnipiac University in Hamden. But such acrimony, unfortunately, is not unheard of, she said.
Another Connecticut divorce case, Nancy Tauck v. Peter Tauck, included an 86-day trial in 2007 that cost some $13 million in attorneys’ fees. Lawyers in the case believe it was the longest divorce trial in state history. That case was filed in May 2005 and lasted to December 2011, with nearly 700 filings.
Kaas said one of her main concerns about lengthy and contentious divorce cases is the effect on children.
“Generally speaking, the evidence is overwhelmingly clear that ongoing conflict and lack of ability to resolve a matter is very bad for kids,” she said.