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Murder doesn't alter wife's rights to marital assets post divorce

"I find that the marriage is irretrievably broken," ruled a judge last week in a nationally notable divorce case. We have written about supposed "irreconcilable differences" on this family law blog before. But this out-of-state case provides an extreme example of a circumstance that would make any marriage unbearable.

A husband filed for divorce from his wife after she allegedly murdered not just one but both of their teenage children. According to sources, the murder defendant shot both of the children, killing them while the husband and father was serving overseas.

The wife is currently in jail without bond and is in two legal battles. She faces murder charges and is also in the midst of a divorce case. Her husband's request for the divorce was officially granted last week. While the end of a marriage usually comes with emotionally difficult terms to finalize, this Florida case in particular is especially complicated.

If your spouse had killed both of your children, would you think that he or she should have any rights to your marital property? The fact that the mother in this case faces criminal charges doesn't negate the reality that she is entitled to half of her and her now ex-husband's assets in property division.

According to Reuters, the wife has requested to receive her half of the reported $2 million in marital assets so she can hire a criminal defense attorney to replace her public defender. If her request is granted, not only will she get half, but the money will go toward defending the murder of the couple's children. That would be a devastating reality for the ex-husband and mourning father to live with.

If there are new developments regarding the family law aspect of this murder case, we will post an update.

Source

Reuters: "Florida mother accused of murdering children is divorced," Robert Green, 19 May 2011

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