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Politician embroiled in contentious divorce

WHile this didn't happen here in Texas, the circumstances of the following divorce story will certainly keep our Texas readers interested. The Commission Chairman of a county in Florida is locked in an intense divorce battle with his wife of 35 years. The 57-year-old Commission Chairman was arrested in late April, stemming from a domestic incident that apparently involved his wife. The charges never stuck; but the man filed for divorce soon after that. Given the tumultuous nature of things in the past couple of months, the divorce proceedings for this family are unlikely to be cordial.

In fact, it appears the 57-year-old’s wife has already acted in a hostile manner. The man has accused his wife of draining $80,000 out of a joint bank account they shared without telling him. In addition, his wife has asked for alimony and "permanent exclusive use and possession" of their nearly 2,400 square foot home. Last year, the Commission Chairman claimed that he was worth $4.4 million -- making this a decidedly high asset divorce.

There are a couple of things to learn about divorce from this situation, and the first involves bank accounts. When you file for divorce (or your spouse informs you that they intend to get a divorce), it is imperative that you close any joint accounts that the two of you share. Rewrite wills; exchange power of attorney; and make sure they are not entitled to anything you don’t want them to be entitled to after the divorce is complete.

The other thing to remember here is that, in some high asset divorces, one of the spouses will employ a “protraction” tactic -- wherein they file superfluous litigation and string along arguments and debates in an attempt to simply wear down their spouse. It can work in some cases, and the other spouse simply gives up on their demands so that the divorce can simply be finalized.

A good way to counteract this tactic is to be organized and prepared for any issue involved in your divorce; and you can also request that your spouse pay some (or all) of your legal fees.

Source: Tampa Tribune, “Schrader divorce could get costly,” Laura Kinsler, June 23, 2013

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