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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Texas developer's divorce filled with criminal accusations

When the end of a Texas marriage makes headlines, the spouses are usually well-known, wealthy or both. A high-profile Houston couple may seem to have all the comforts you could imagine but, by being in the public eye, they also sacrifice privacy. A high net worth divorce is frequently under the media microscope.

The wife of a Dallas property developer filed for divorce in May. Since then, the husband has filed a lawsuit against a doctor and a medical center, where the man chairs the plastic surgery department. The complaint claims the married physician had an affair with the developer's wife and worked with the spouse to deceive her husband.

The lawsuit alleges the lovers clandestinely sold a 23-plus carat diamond the husband purchased as an investment. The diamond, valued at over $1.1 million, was mounted on a ring the wife wore periodically. The suit claims the wife and the doctor conspired to fool the husband by replacing the diamond with a look-alike cubic zirconia.

The husband said his spouse used the sale of the diamond for travel to promote a book about plastic surgery, co-authored by the wife and the surgeon. The developer's wife responded to the allegations by filing a motion in the divorce case.

The woman said she abandoned the marriage following years of abuse. The wife also asserted her husband burst into the medical center in early May, threatened the plastic surgeon and attempted to extort $10 million from the doctor. The husband's counterclaim described his wife as sociopath bent on self-promotion.

Divorces between affluent spouses are no easier than marital break-ups for anyone else. In fact, the division of a complex estate may prolong the divorce process. A highly personal matter can turn into a very public legal dispute that drags on for months or years, unless parties use the legal system effectively to work out a settlement.

Source: NBC DFW, "Developer Sues Plastic Surgeon Over Diamond, Affair" Scott Gordon, Jun. 19, 2014

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