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Pricey ring adds fuel to the fire in divorce battle

When a married couple in Ohio decide to end their union, the resulting proceedings can be amicable or devolve into a bitter battle. An acrimonious divorce can bring out the worst in two people who were once in love enough to want to share the rest of their lives together. The viciousness of the divorce of the founder of a skin-care empire and his wife of 20 years has been compounded by a separate lawsuit filed by his 94-year-old mother against his soon-to-be-ex-wife over a diamond.

Although the parties previously filed for divorce and have been seeing other people, they apparently continued to live together until a year ago. A separate lawsuit recently filed by the wife against two attorneys alleges that her husband was advised to hide his assets during the last four years in anticipation of a possible divorce. She claims that some of his measures were underhanded, including devaluing many of their assets in an effort to avoid paying taxes upon gifting them to their children.

During the marriage, the wife wore a pair of earrings that were made from a diamond she owned as well as from one valued at $500,000 that her mother-in-law had worn as a ring for many years. Over the years of the marriage, the two women shared the earrings, but the mother-in-law claims the wife borrowed them a year ago and refuses to return them. She has now sued in an effort to get them back. The wife alleges that the lawsuit is just another ploy by the husband to get everything she owns.

While it remains to be seen how this cantankerous divorce will ultimately be resolved, the complications that can arise surrounding property division in a divorce can be overwhelming.  Each state has laws that deal with the division of assets, and Ohio is known as an equitable distribution jurisdiction. That means the marital property is to be split fairly, though not necessarily equally. Finding an attorney who has considerable experience in this area will help alleviate many of the challenges that are typically encountered in addressing these issues.

Source: New York Post, "Skin care mogul in divorce battle wants mom's $500K ring back", Kathianne Boniello, Feb. 5, 2017

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