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Florida government official prepares for contentious divorce

After 35 years of marriage, the Commission Chairman in Pasco County, Florida is filing for divorce from his wife. The actual filing was made at the end of April, but things are starting to heat up with this divorce. The 57-year-old man filed for divorce in the aftermath of a domestic dispute between he and his wife. He was arrested for domestic battery, but formal charges were dismissed shortly thereafter.

The man listed his net worth at $4.4 million last year, so this certainly qualifies as a high-asset divorce. The couple also have a home of nearly 2,400 square feet, which the man believes should be his (he asked the judge to give him the home).

Much of the consternation between the angry spouses involves financial issues. Apparently, the man's soon-to-be-ex-wife withdrew more than $80,000 from a bank account they shared; and in addition to the battle being waged over the home, plus the domestic dispute, it is unlikely that these splitting spouses are going to agree on anything during their divorce proceedings.

A couple of things to note about this divorce: first, the bank account withdrawal. Many people going through a divorce in Broward County may miss this step, but one of the first things you should do in the wake of filing for divorce is close all joint accounts you and your spouse share. This will protect you from the outcome that has befallen the Pasco County Commission Chairman.

The other thing to remember is that high-asset divorces can often be contentious and drawn out. There are so many assets -- and lots of money -- at stake. So consult an attorney and construct the best possible legal plan to help you protect the things you care about.

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

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