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Arson charges follow couple's heated divorce

As a Florida marriage is coming to an end, it is not uncommon for one or both spouses to become incredibly angry. Negotiations can be difficult, and couples who share children often cannot see eye-to-eye on how to divide parenting time. In some cases, spouses lash out from places of anger rather than reason. When those divorce choices exceed the bounds of normalcy, the matter can become a national news story.

This is the case with a man who, angry after a divorce hearing, set fire to his nearly $800,000 house. The man had planned to move into the home and prepare it for sale as part of the divorce process, but his wife was able to receive the court's permission to live in the property for an undisclosed period of time. The court's decision led the husband to return to the home and douse it with gasoline before setting it on fire.

When police and firefighters arrived, they reportedly found the man outside the property laughing and watching the flames rise. They did not find the matter humorous, however, as one firefighter had to be hospitalized for heat exhaustion after battling the flames. The man was arrested and charged with arson, and his wife immediately approached the court to ask for a protective order.

This case serves as an example of the ease with which emotion can overrule reason during divorce. Whatever short-lived rewards he may have gained by watching his past burn to the ground, this man will likely more than pay for it by the legal ramifications that his actions have prompted in regard to his future. While few Florida spouses will take similar steps against their own best interests, this example underscores the importance of obtaining and following solid legal counsel.

Source:, "Builder, in midst of divorce, admits torching home, police say", Julie Manganis, Aug. 1, 2016

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The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
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Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-3424

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