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Anchorage woman forced to represent herself in divorce case

Some marriages end on relatively good terms. Even if the former spouses no longer love each other, they can at least treat each other with respect and are cordial. Other marriages, however, end with fighting, trickery and overall unethical behavior. In those cases, it is extremely important to work with a family law lawyer who can help navigate the divorce battlefield.

For the wife of a prominent plastic surgeon in Anchorage, her marriage most definitely did not end on good terms. Despite the fact that her husband was worth millions of dollars, the woman was forced to represent herself because she didn't have enough money to pay for a lawyer. A lawyer may have helped discover the extensive cover-up that the surgeon is now being prosecuted for.

The 64-year-old surgeon had been siphoning off money to bank accounts across the United States and even to Panama. In 2011, over $4.6 million was seized from his California bank account and it is believed that there is more than $3 million in Panama. While the surgeon been charged with seven counts of federal wire fraud, had that money been disclosed during the divorce, it is likely that the wife would have received her fair share of the funds.

Unless they had signed a prenuptial agreement, it is highly likely that the money, along with the rest of their marital income, would have been divided as part of the divorce agreement. Instead, the woman was stuck without legal representation because she was left with very little money.

Source: Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage surgeon indicted for hiding millions in divorce," Richard Mauer, Sept. 20, 2013

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