Burt Handelsman and Lucille “Lovey” Handelsman—aged 90 and 89 respectively—are responsible for one of South Florida’s most enduring real estate empires with valuable properties in—among other places—Delray Beach, Key West and Palm Beach, including in the upscale Worth Avenue district.
Now, that substantial empire is set to be fractured, as their divorce proceedings commenced Monday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, prompted by Lovey’s filing.
The Handelsmans were married for over 67 years.
The couple came from modest beginnings and launched their real estate empire from their kitchen table in the 1950s, with Lovey on the typewriter and Burt taking an arts-and-crafts approach to framing investment opportunities, pasting photos of properties over Lovey’s typed descriptions.
Now, though, Lovey has accused Burt of carrying on an affair with 62-year-old Jane Rankin, a Fort Lauderdale attorney who worked with them on business matters. Despite Lovey’s insistence, Burt would not discontinue the relationship, and became verbally abusive.