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Senior Citizen Must Vacate Home During Divorce In Florida

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(Photo courtesy of Orlando Sentinel)

In 1981, John Ferenc bought a home in Florida with his wife. Several years later, he began to serve a prison sentence for burglary, grand theft and some other crimes. While in prison for 26 years, his wife paid off the entire mortgage.

In 2009, Ferenc was released from prison after 26 years. Shortly after, he filed for divorce. His wife, Loretta Jean, is 72 years of age. She is disabled, uses a walker and is not very mobile. She is not prepared to move and does not want to move largely in part of the depressed real estate market.

A order issued by a Florida marital and family law divorce judge requires the wife to vacate her home, a place where she has lived in for 30 years. Effective September 1, 2011, the husband will receive temporary and exclusive use and occupancy of the marital residence.

Ferenc plans to repair the house so that it can be sold. Once the repairs are complete, he will be able to choose a real estate agent to place the property for sale. Both parties are required to cooperate with the sale of the marital residence and must accept a fair market offer. The court further ordered that the net proceeds are to be divided equally. The wife will be required to pay $1,408 in attorney’s fees and costs since she has failed to appear in court for hearings.

John Ferenc received a 55 year consecutive prison sentence. He was released early as a result of good behavior. While in prison, his wife received his monthly disability benefits. A divorce attorney in Broward believes that the husband would be unjustly enriched from the sale of the marital residence since the wife will be left without a home.

The wife’s divorce lawyer has filed an emergency motion to prevent her from being removed from the marital residence. Meanwhile, the husband has advised that he will request that she be found in contempt of court if she does not leave the home as previously ordered by the court.

Last week, a judge denied her request to continue to stay in her home during this contested divorce proceeding. The court found that the facts did not constitute an emergency which would require an immediate hearing.

The wife is now temporarily residing in a hotel. Since returning to the home, the husband found a sink full of dishes, bugs in the refrigerator, clutter and cobwebs. While Ferenc will continue to fight in court to return to her home, the husband does not believe that she will be permitted to reside in the house ever again.

The parties are set to return to court in a few weeks.