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Australian Women “Cried Ghost” to Sway the Court in a Divorce Settlement

A 52-year-old woman in Southern Australia who wanted to keep her house in a divorce settlement told her lawyer, a property evaluator and a Judge, that a ghost was haunting the marital home. Apparently this woman thought that if she could convince the Judge and the evaluator that the house was haunted, then the property value would go down, in turn making the house value low enough so that she could keep it.

Unfortunately for the woman, the Court saw through her fantastical argument. Magistrate Scarlet stated on the record, “I found this account of the alleged haunting to be unbelievable and I am satisfied that the claim was fabricated for an ulterior purpose, namely, as an attempt to influence the valuer to return a low valuation of the former matrimonial home.” In the end the Court ordered that the woman could keep the house, but would need to pay $189,000.00 to her estranged husband.

Similarly to Australia, crying ghost would be a losing argument in Colorado. Read our posts on property division to learn some winning arguments.

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Our team includes attorneys licensed to practice in multiple states including April D. Jones in California, Patrick G. Barkman in Texas, the Cherokee Nation, the Northern District of Texas, and the District of Colorado (United States Court of Appeals 10th and 5th Circuit), and Stuart Wallace in Illinois.