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Florida court hears divorced couple's case over custody of ashes

When someone in considers filing for divorce, it is recommended that they start compiling financial paperwork that could aid in the divorce process. That individual will likely start to consider what assets may be split up, including bank accounts, cars, a home, and furniture. While some of these things may be pretty typical in any divorce, every couple will have some unique assets that will have to be split up as well.

Take for example a Florida couple who are fighting in court over something very precious: their son’s ashes. The two divorced three years before the 23-year-old son died in a hit-and-run accident. Now, each spouse wants the son’s ashes to be buried in different places.

The father was okay with the idea of splitting up the ashes as property, but the mother did not support this idea due to religion reasons. Recently, a Florida judge ruled that the ashes could not be considered property and would therefore not be separated into two.

The reason behind this ruling came after the court looked at previous cases dating all the way back to the 1700s. According to precedent, the court explained that cremated remains should be treated the same way a body would be treated.

The father wants the remains to be buried in Georgia, while the mother wants them to be buried in Florida. This is definitely a unique case when it comes to dividing property and custody issues. It will be interesting to follow this case in order to see if the couple can come to an agreement or if the court will have to make a ruling.

Source: NBC News, “Florida Couple Fights Over Custody of Son’s Cremated Remains,”  Elizabeth Chuck, May 28, 2014

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