Tag: Divorce & Mental Incapacity

Smelly, Dirty Divorce Tricks

The billionaire co-founder of PIMCO allegedly left dead fish and other vile smelling liquids in the mansion he once shared with his ex-wife Sue Gross. The gross smelling liquids are a perfect example of smelly, dirty divorce tricks to watch out for.

Smelly Dirty Divorce Tricks

Failing the Smell Test

Court documents outline how the Los Angeles bond king — who later joined Janus Capital — left the home in Laguna Beach “in a state of utter chaos and disrepair” following the couple’s divorce. California’s tax assessor values the home at more than $11 million.

Photos published by the paper from the case show a lineup of foul smelling sprays, including “puke smell” and “fart prank,” that were allegedly used by Bill.

Sue also alleges the 74-year-old hired an “army of spies” to monitor and harass her and her family members, the paper reported. It also reported that a source close to Bill “denied the house was left in disarray.”

Smell a Rat

Last month, Sue testified that she fooled her ex-husband into thinking he was sleeping in the presence of a Picasso painting for several months after she swapped the priceless piece of art for a fake she had created herself.

Their court documents also include a restraining order, showing acrimony between Bill and Sue Gross, even as they’ve agreed to at least some of the financial aspects of their parting.

Days before the divorce was finalized, Bill Gross was granted a temporary restraining order that bars 67-year-old Sue Gross from approaching him or entering properties where he is living or working.

The order also calls for Sue Gross to stay away from her ex-husband’s girlfriend, Amy Schwartz. Bill Gross said in a court declaration filed in January:

“Sue’s escalating harassment of me and my employees has crossed the line into danger and my inability to feel safe in my own home”

A representative for Sue Gross responded by saying Bill Gross was the aggressor:

“The last year has been painful … since she became the target of Bill’s bullying and threatening behavior in the divorce proceedings. Sadly, as (was) heavily documented around his departure from Pimco, Bill has clearly suffered from paranoia and rage since well before … the separation.”

Florida Dirty Divorce Tricks

I’ve written about behavior and dirty divorce tricks before. They can seriously backfire. A couple of common tricks to watch out for:

  • Refuse to pay household bills until you are forced to do it by the court to “Starve Out the Other Spouse”. The goal is to get the other spouse in a financial position where he or she, out of desperation, will accept an unfair settlement.
  • Wait until the latest possible day to pay support money, even if you’ve got the money to send. Never mind that your spouse just might need the money to pay bills or buy things for the children.
  • Petition the court for sole custody of your children when you will actually agree to a shared custody and equal timesharing. The real purpose for the request is to strike fear into the heart of your spouse and use it to coerce financial concessions.
  • Refuse to speak with your spouse about anything, including the children. This helps to create conflict, court hearings, and increase legal fees to wear the other side down.
  • File a fraudulent domestic violence petition to have your spouse excluded from the family home.

Yes, sadly these are cases of what people have actually done during the pressures of a divorce, and all of these instances are documented. Consider the stress family cases have on everyone and show some respect to others.

Come Out Smelling Like a Rose?

The fighting has prompted Sue Gross to step down from the board of the William and Sue Gross Family Foundation to form her own as-yet-unnamed charity.

It is unclear how her absence will affect the family organization, of which Bill Gross once described her as “the boss.”

The foundation, with reported assets of $355 million, has helped finance causes as diverse as UC Irvine’s nursing program and Doctors Without Borders.

The Orange County Register article is here.


Occupation and Divorce

If you marry a flight attendant are you more likely to divorce than if you marry a software developer? A recent report on occupation and divorce asks that very question.

The Study analyzed data from the 2015 American Community Survey, and, based on the number of people in a particular occupation who had married at least once, calculated the percentage of people who divorced.

Librarians have about a 28% chance of divorce, while phlebotomist have approximately a 46% chance.

Another un-surprising part of the study, people with less income are less likely to be married in the first place, and more likely to be divorced.

About 25% of “poor” adults aged 18 to 55 are currently married, compared to 39% of working-class adults, and 56% of middle- and upper-class adults (above the 50th percentile).

What the report found is that there is a divorce rate of at least 48.8% in the occupations “most likely” to experience divorce; the divorce rate is under 22% in the 10 occupations “least likely” to be subject to divorce.

Divorce in Florida

I’ve written about the correlation between occupation and divorce before. The numbers don’t paint the whole picture. If a person divorced and remarried by the time of the Census, they would be counted as married.

There are various reasons cited in the study for the fault behind the divorce rate. It could be that spouses in some jobs are just quicker to jump into the next marriage than others.

The data on occupation and divorce doesn’t reveal whether it’s the nature of the jobs that lead to divorce, or if people prone to unstable relationships are drawn to certain professions.

Florida abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. The only ground you need to file for divorce in Florida is to prove your marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

But is no fault divorce the reason the for a higher divorce rate among bartenders than optometrists? Some people think so, and want to return to the old “fault” system to promote families.

Occupation as Predictor of Divorce

So, what are the occupations with the highest divorce rates:

  • Telemarketers
  • Bartenders
  • Flight Attendants

The occupations among the lowest divorce rates:

  • Actuaries
  • Physical Therapists
  • Chemical Engineers

Keep in mind that correlation is not causation. No one knows which bartenders are likely to stay married or divorced, nor give advice on choosing a profession based on the divorce rate.

Nor can the report tell you about those who choose to become bartenders may be less likely to have stable marriages for reasons other than their choice of profession.

Rolling machine operators seem to be in the same category today more because of their declining employment prospects than because of increased temptations to stray.

One question that does not command enough attention is why the correlation between relationship stability and employment prospects is so strong.

Commitment to an unstable partner — someone who runs up the credit card bills, incurs large health care expenses, or needs to be bailed out of jail — can diminish family savings, a source of peril.

The report is available here.


Divorce, Nigerian Princes & Mental Incapacity

By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Tuesday, September 6, 2016.

Florida is a no-fault state. Divorce is granted if you prove the marriage is irretrievably broken, or mental incapacity. Kentucky doesn’t allow incompetent people to divorce. That may change.

A 1943 Kentucky decision fond that Kentucky law did not authorize a mentally incompetent person to divorce. Kentucky is one of 10 states that bar mentally incompetent people from divorcing.

The man is arguing that even a person who is deemed disabled can show what their true feelings and intentions are.

“I don’t think that they should be locked up by their guardian.”

However, the man’s wife takes a different point of view. The man’s wife argues:

She was appointed as his guardian after he sent thousands of dollars to someone he believed to be a Nigerian royal prince.

The wife’s lawyer says she still cares deeply for her husband, and he needs a guardian to stop him from wasting family money on overseas pyramid schemes.

The man filed for divorce in August 2013 after he twice sought, without success, to dissolve the disability determination and guardianship, according to an October appeals court ruling in the case. The appeals court affirmed an order dismissing his divorce petition.

The Kentucky Supreme Court has heard argument, and will render its opinion soon.

I’ve written about divorce in Florida many times. In Florida, mental incapacity does not prevent you from divorcing, but no dissolution is allowed unless the party alleged to be incapacitated has been adjudged incapacitated for a preceding period of at least 3 years.

Essentially, Florida law precludes the institution or maintenance of an action for dissolution of marriage until three years after the person has been adjudged incompetent.

The purpose of this rule is to protect individuals who have become mentally incapacitated from being suddenly divorced or abandoned by their former spouses.

Mental capacity can impact your ability to settle a divorce case. Separation agreements, such as postnuptial agreements and marital settlement agreements, must be entered into by two parties who have the mental capacity to enter into contracts.

If an individual is found to have been mentally incapable when the marital settlement agreement was entered into, then the court will likely hold that the entire contract was invalid.

The ABA article on the Kentucky case is here.