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Divorced Parents Fight Over Child’s Ashes

Property division is often a sensitive topic in a divorce. Couples tend to treasure their hard-earned assets and property and, in many cases, property division causes significant conflict in divorce cases. Also, property division determinations are unique in each divorce case as couples will never have the exact same property as other couples. Therefore, the details of each individual case are very important and a decision should be tailored specifically for that particular couple.

Couple Repeatedly Back in Court

William and Lili Wilson divorced in 2007 in Florida. The divorce was very adversarial, with the couple fighting over nearly every piece of property, including baseball cards. However, their divorce was only the first in a line of dramatic and traumatic events that would lead them back into the courtroom again and again.
In 2010, their 23-year-old son, Scott, was driving when an impaired driver slammed into his car, causing it to tumble into a canal. The drunk driver was a billionaire who walked home and failed to call 911 for an hour, all while Scott drowned in the canal. First, the parents brought a wrongful death claim against the billionaire in civil court and split the $46 million award evenly between the two of them.
Next, the drunk driver faced a criminal trial, after which he was sentenced to 16 years in prison. However, a juror published a book shortly after the trial, in which he admits to misconduct that involved drinking the same number of drinks as the driver allegedly had to see if the driver had actually been impaired. Now, the driver is on house arrest while he waits for a new trial, scheduled for later this year.

Fight Over the Remains

After all of that, William and Lili Wilson are back in court again, this time arguing over who gets to have control over and choose where to bury their son’s cremated remains. Lili wants to bury his remains in Florida, while William wants him to be buried in a family plot in Georgia that already has his son’s name on the headstone, and simply needs the dates of death filled in.
William was willing to divide the ashes, and asked the court to declare the remains “property” that could be divided evenly between the two. However, his former wife did not want to divide the ashes due to religious beliefs. A Florida appeals court decided that human remains cannot be considered assets or property and, therefore, would not divide the ashes. A lower court is expected to make a final decision on the matter on where the remains will finally come to rest.

Contact a Boca Raton or Ft. Lauderdale Family Law Firm Today

As you can see, some divorces can get very complicated and couples may face issues stemming from their split for years afterward, especially if there are children involved. If you have any type of concerns involving divorce, property division, child custody, or any other family law issues, do not hesitate to contact the office of experienced attorney Alan Burton for assistance today.

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