Town of Palm Beach News

The Palm Beach Handelsman Empire Divided

The Palm Beach Post reported Monday that a Palm Beach County judge divided up the spoils of Burt and Lucille Handelsman’s real estate empire—an empire that has an estimated net worth of $550 million.

Although Circuit Judge Scott Suskauer, placed in charge of dividing the couple’s holdings, made no attempt to hide his personal feelings about Burt Handelsman—describing the 91-year-old as a “chronic fabricator” and bringing up Burt’s labeling of his adult children as “his enemies”—he announced that we would not punish Burt for his actions in his decision.

“My goal is to be fair to Burt Handelsman without regard to his malfeasance,” Suskauer said during the hearing. Suskauer said he attempted to divide the holdings in a way that ensured Burt would no longer be in business with his wife and children.

Suskauer’s decision gave Burt the couple’s home in White Plains, N.Y., as well as a golf course in the Catskills valued at $8.5 million. Burt will also receive the couple’s shaving mug collection, valued at $1 million.

Ninety-year-old Lucille—or “Lovey”—will receive the building on Worth Avenue that contains Burt’s current apartment, as well as the apartment the couple once lived in together on Worth Avenue. This combination of winnings leaves Burt likely searching for a new place to live in Palm Beach.

Lucille also won buildings on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, including one that is home to the Blue Anchor Pub, as well as the keys to the homes of Ralph Lauren, Lily Pulitzer, and other notable residents.

Suskauer’s decision covered a total of 18 pieces of contested property valued at $210 million total and split the couple’s cash, stock, and artwork evenly.

The Palm Beach Handelsman Empire Divided

Decisions regarding the rest of the family’s holdings—stretching from the Florida Keys to New York—had already been reached during negotiations between the attorney’s of Burt, Lucille, and their children.

Millions of dollars worth of property had already been turned over to Burt and Lucille’s children long before Lucille filed for divorce, claiming her husband was having an affair with the couple’s legal advisor, Jane Rankin.

Steven Handelsman, one of the couple’s three adult children, commended Suskauer’s ruling, saying the distribution, while not everything he, his sisters and his mother wanted—was done fairly.

Burt declined to comment on the decision, and Lucille she got what she wanted most a year ago when Suskauer granted her request to end the marriage. Although Lucille said she was disappointed with some of Suskauer’s decisions, she said she was overall “thrilled” with how it worked out.

“I got what I really wanted, which is a divorce,” Lucille said. “Everything else I did for my chilled because they are a big part of the business.”

Related>>>Worth Avenue Real Estate Magnates to Divorce After 67 Years

However, the fight may not be over. Burt has the ability to appeal Suskauer’s decisions once they have been crafted into a final judgement.

Suskauer gave Burt and Lucille’s attorney’s until mid-February to prepare an order for him to sign.

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Alanna Barrett

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