When couples get divorced, Florida law dictates that property and assets are to be divided fairly and equitably. But as hard as it may be to let go of a portion of your wealth and property, it can be nearly impossible to let go of irreplaceable items with sentimental value.
One Florida couple is currently in the midst of such a legal battle over property division. Their son was the young man killed in a pedestrian-car accident caused by polo magnate John Goodman in February 2010. While Goodman's trial has received a lot of media coverage, his victim's grieving parents have been locked in a divorce battle largely out of the public eye.
Both husband and wife became multi-millionaires after settling a civil lawsuit with Goodman, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Therefore, money does not seem to be the main point of contention in this divorce.
Rather, the couple is battling over possession of some arguably priceless artifacts; namely, home videos and their deceased son's ashes. The young man's father recently requested that his son's cremated ashes be divided and shared equally. However, the judge presiding over the case denied the request, saying that ashes are not considered property "like a bank account" would be.
The division of a deceased loved one's ashes is actually somewhat common, and the court heard testimony to that effect from a funeral home director and the priest who presided over the young man's funeral. Still, the judge seems determined to keep the cremains intact. For the time being, neither parent has possession of their son's ashes; they are being temporarily kept at the funeral home until the issue is settled.
Hopefully, this protracted and bitter divorce battle will soon come to a mutually beneficial conclusion that allows both spouses to find some peace and closure.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Bitter divorce grabs spotlight for parents of Goodman victim," Ben Wolford, Feb. 1, 2013
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