By Cindy Adams

SKAKEL'S WIFE DUMPS HIM MICHAEL SKAKEL, under indictment in Connecticut's 25-year-old Martha Moxley murder case, is facing yet more problems. Margot, his wife of nine years, has just called an end to their marriage. You might say October's been a tough month for Ethel Kennedy's 40-year-old nephew. There was a hearing Oct. 20 on whether Skakel - accused of doing in his 15-year-old neighbor Martha Moxley with a golf club a quarter of a century ago - should be tried as an adult or as a juvenile. The decision is pending. Stamford Superior Court Judge Maureen Dennis has 120 days to render her opinion. Barely a few days before that all-important hearing, which just might be the most important decision affecting his life, he was hit with this other all-important decision affecting his life.

His wife wanted out of the marriage. She requested a separation. Friends say there was no one issue that brought it to a head. Friends say there was no one single argument or fight or whatever. Friends say the couple has long had their ups and downs, as - they hasten to add - have most couples. His wife has clearly also made up her mind she does not want him back. She went a step beyond the separation agreement - she quickly filed a divorce action. They just bought a $290,000 house in upstate Windham. It's a small town in the northern Catskills. The papers were filed in the county court.

Mickey Sherman, Skakel's criminal lawyer, is not handling his client's domestic problems. For that, Skakel has hired a lawyer named Jean Mahserjian of Albany. I telephoned Mahserjian. I was told she had left for the day. I asked Mickey Sherman, whose client is up against a murder charge, if the timing isn't about the worst in the world. He said: "It was Mrs. Skakel's choice. Not his. It's an amicable split. They're working toward resolving their difficulties. "Look, it's been very difficult. With this case they've both been under tremendous pressure." Which is Castilian lawyer for: "What do you want from me?" Friends confirm Mr. Skakel is not fighting it. He has moved out. He has taken a place not far from the marital home. He and his separated wife are resolving how he may see their 2-year-old son.

There is not big money in the family. But, I asked Mickey Sherman again, is this not the absolutely worst timing for your client? "They're two young people trying to make the best of their lives. They've been held up to severe public scrutiny. The pressures of this case have been crushing. "We have every reason to believe that all issues will be resolved amicably." Are you upset with your client for having brought this action upon himself at this time? "I do not wish to get into any posturing here. However, he is not the one who brought this action," Sherman said. The night of the Martha Moxley murder was almost 25 years ago exactly. It happened Oct. 30. Asked for a comment, Michael Skakel sent only the words: "It's a private matter."

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