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Son’s ashes not marital property, says court

| Jun 11, 2014 | Property Division

Divorcing couples in Florida often work to divide marital property, and it’s not surprising that disputes over fair division arise. Though property tends to encompass assets such as money or real estate, many couples have sentimental items or property that cause tension in a divorce. One Florida couple is currently battling over the equitable distribution of their son’s remains.

The couple divorced in 2007. According to reports, the divorce was a bitter one, and the couple fought over a variety of items, including baseball cards. In 2010, the couple’s 23-year-old son was hit by an alleged drunk driver and killed. Though his parents agreed to have his body cremated, they’ve agreed on little else regarding his remains.

The woman wants to bury her son’s ashes in a Florida cemetery. She chose the city where her son grew up. The man wants to bury the remains in another state, in a family burial plot. According to the man’s attorney, the man says the family burial plot was the planned location for all the family’s remains prior to the divorce.

According to reports, the man is willing to compromise and share the ashes with his wife. His wife opposes splitting the ashes for religious reasons. The man attempted to have the remains declared property so the court could order the ashes divided as with any other marital property. The court refused to declare the body property.

Instead, the court assigned representatives to assist the couple in coming to a resolution. If the couple can’t agree within 30 days, say reports, the court can appoint someone to handle the burial.

Divorce can be an emotional thing — for some, the emotions ring true even years after the final marital split. Property or financial issues can go on for years, and third-party assistance often offers an outlook that is free of emotions and helpful in setting out a plan to obtain what an individual needs and wants for the future.

Source: NBC News, “Florida Couple Fights Over Custody of Son’s Cremated Remains” Elizabeth Chuck, May. 28, 2014

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