Zuba & Associates, P.C.

Illinois divorce: Man may have faked own death to keep fortune

A woman is in the midst of a nightmare after her husband disappeared. The couple was having marital trouble and she was attempting to challenge the validity of their prenuptial agreement. The husband disappeared soon after, reportedly in an attempt to maintain his fortune in the event of a divorce. Such a story is not the norm for Illinois or any other state, but occasionally divorce dramas can turn into nightmares for the other spouse involved.

The couple reportedly had a rocky marriage. The husband made a fortune when he began to work in the oil and gas industry. He then went on to amass an even greater fortune by tackling other ventures. However, he was not without his fair share of problems and apparently spent awhile in a mental institution. He also filed for divorce, but did not go through with the separation.

The woman is now raising their children and is embroiled in several other legal battles related to her husband's disappearance. Her lawyers believe he is not dead, but living overseas. The man may have panicked when his wife threatened him with a divorce and faked his own death. It is believed his actions were to avoid the possibility of losing his fortune if the wife continued to pursue the prenuptial agreement challenge and divorce proceedings.

Most Illinois couples won't have to worry about their partners going to such extremes. However, this woman is now embroiled in many legal problems and is raising their children on her own. When a couple goes through a divorce, there can be the fear of a financial loss, but couples can often use mediation to avoid such bitter fights over money and come to an equitable agreement for everyone.

Source: Fox News, "Wife of missing Fla. millionaire wonders if she's abandoned or a widow," Dec. 27, 2012

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