Ohio residents may be interested in a court case being played out in another state. The litigation is over the assets in a divorce and whether or not the wife is entitled to a share. The divorce case has been to an initial trial and to an appellate court and will most likely go no further for another decision.
The husband was erroneously convicted and imprisoned for 20 years for the rape and murder of and 11-year-old girl. DNA evidence eventually proved he was innocent, and he was released. He then chose to sue the city, county and other agencies and won $20 million for his suffering. He would receive a little over half that after paying taxes and legal costs. He met his wife after he had been incarcerated for 16 years, and they married two years later.
The husband filed for divorce after he had been out of prison for two years. The battle between them has been about his award and whether it was marital property to be divided between the two. The original trial’s decision was that he was not married at the time of the emotional suffering for which he won the award, so it was not marital property, and the wife should not receive any of the money. She appealed the decision, and the appellate judge ruled that the lawsuit did not take place at the time of incarceration but while they were married, so she had claim to part of the money.
Even though the husband tried yet another appeal to the state’s Supreme Court, they would not hear the case, and the appellate court’s decision will stand. It is believed he will still be able to keep a large portion of his award although his ex intends to fight for an equal division. There are other factors that will be a determination in the divorce trial, set for the middle of July.
Divorce proceedings can be simple in some cases, but in others, like this one, they are not so cut and dry. Because emotions run so high at a time like this, an impartial third party will help bring some composure during the process. Hiring an attorney who knows the divorce laws in Ohio is a wise step in determining the options available to those who are seeking a dissolution of marriage.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “$20 million wrongful conviction settlement headed for divorce court“, Luke Hammill, Jan. 27, 2017