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Wife attempts to take authors assets in divorce

While many in Georgia may not know his name, many are familiar with Elmore Leonard's work. The 86-year-old crime writer has penned numerous articles and screenplays and 45 books. Many of his stories have been made into movies, such as "Get Shorty," "Freaky Deaky," and "3:10 to Yuma." The prolific author is now facing a new story -- divorce.

As part of his divorce, however, the author will also have to deal with the equitable division of property. The author's wife filed for divorce after splitting earlier this year, but she has not specified her reasons for seeking the divorce. What is clear, however, is that the wife is concerned with getting a share of his profits and assets, as she currently has a temporary restraining order against him that restricts him from changing life insurance policies, his will or transferring any assets.

The court order also forces the author to keep paying his soon-to-be ex-wife's personal expenses, credit card expenses, country club memberships, and upkeep of their twp homes. He must also refrain from disposing of any business records associated with his company and the storehouses of his work.

Court documents indicate that the woman is no longer cohabitating with the author after filing for divorce.

Any time a couple goes through a divorce, a judge must determine who gets what. Although many parties may enter a marriage with similar assets, in some situations one party has clearly done more and earned more prior to the marriage. In this situation, the judge may have a more difficult time in determining how to equitably divide the couple's marital property since he or she has to deal with what is truly a fair division. Anyone going through a divorce that requires a complex division of marital property should work closely with an experienced family law attorney to protect his or her assets.

Source: The Detroit News, "Author Elmore Leonard, wife to divorce," Mike Martindale, Oct. 20, 2011

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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