Havell v. Islam

751 N.Y.S.2d 449, 301 A.D.2d 339 (2002)

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Havell v. Islam

New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
751 N.Y.S.2d 449, 301 A.D.2d 339 (2002)

  • Written by Haley Gintis, JD

Facts

In 1978, Theresa Havell (plaintiff) and Aftab Islam (defendant) married. In 1988, Islam lost his job and remained unemployed. Havell financially supported Islam and the couple’s six children. By 1999, Havell was earning a yearly salary of approximately $879,000 and earning approximately $320,000 per year as a part-owner of the company she had formed. On April 15, 1999, Havell informed Islam that she wanted a divorce. One week later, Islam violently attacked Havell with a barbell. Three of the couple’s adolescent children tried to stop Islam and called 911. Havell suffered extensive injuries from the attack, including neurological damage, a broken nose and jaw, broken teeth, and several contusions and lacerations. However, Havell returned to work part-time just three weeks after the attack. Islam was charged with attempted murder but received a deal and pleaded guilty to first-degree assault. Havell filed for divorce in May. The trial court awarded Havell 95 percent of the marital estate based on Islam’s egregious behavior and his attempted murder of Havell. Islam appealed on the ground that the court inappropriately considered fault in the property division because his conduct had not economically affected Havell. Islam also appealed on the ground that the trial court had considered marital fault at the expense of the mandated statutory factors, had mischaracterized his conduct as attempted murder rather than first-degree assault, and did not award him a set-off in Havell’s pending tort action.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Williams, J.)

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