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Man wrongfully imprisoned embroiled in high asset divorce

There can be many different ways in which divorce legal issues can come to the forefront. In some instances, these problems regarding a divorce can give rise to a unique situation. It is not uncommon for a high asset divorce to lead to a contentious back and forth as to what each spouse is entitled to and will get what from the marriage. Some of these cases can be newsworthy. Regardless, when getting a divorce with significant assets, having legal assistance is an imperative to be fully protected.

One particularly unusual case that is multilevel in its court-related issues has to do with a man who was convicted of a crime he did not commit and received a settlement of $20 million. The man had married a woman in 2000 while he was incarcerated and because of that, he might have to split the money with her now that he is free and they are divorcing. The man had been convicted of rape and murder of a child and was jailed for 20 years.

DNA evidence proved his innocence and the subsequent lawsuits as to how the conviction was ascertained resulted in the $20 million award. After all the fees to his legal team and taxes were paid, he was left with $11.4 million. The woman filed for divorce two-and-a-half years following his release. That case is still pending. The man tried to have the settlement kept out of the proceeding, but an appeals court in the state determined that it was marital property. He argues that the injustice that led to the incarceration preceded the marriage and that his wife should not have a right to the compensation from it.

The end of a marriage can be complicated and have a great many factors in dispute. This is a very unique case in which a man was jailed for two decades and it was shown to be a wrongful conviction. He received a substantial settlement. Having married while he was in jail, the wife is pursuing part of that settlement. While this is not a common case, those who are embroiled in a high asset divorce might also face disagreements over who is entitled to what. With any divorce, having a lawyer with a wide range of experience is key.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "$20 million settlement up for grabs in exonerated man's divorce," Tony Briscoe, Oct. 5, 2016

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