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Prison Sentence Gets in Way of Divorce Hearing

Florida resident Kim Rothstein is facing some complications in not only getting her no-fault divorce finalized, but also getting her name restored. If the name Rothstein rings a bell, it’s for a good reason. Kim, who spent almost of her marriage separated from her  Scott while he served prison time for a Ponzi scheme, has been in the news quite a lot recently.

Kim is currently serving a 15 month sentence in prison for knowingly hiding jewelry from federal investigators, but that is a drop in the bucket compared to her husband’s charges. Scott Rothstein was found guilty of creating and running one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in Florida history, and he is currently serving a prison sentence of 50-years.

Their no-fault divorce was held up when neither of the Rothsteins were able to attend a recent court hearing, mainly due to both of them being currently in prison. While that was expected, and concessions were made allowing Kim to phone in to the court and testify remotely, that too turned problematic when no one in the prison was able to put her under oath for her testimony.

Florida law dictates that at least one person in the couple swear in and say that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”. Therefore, the hearing had to be postponed. Kim is the only one able to perform that task, since her husband hasn’t shown any interest in battling the charges or contesting the divorce proceedings.

Kim’s problems will not be over once she is able to swear in, and the divorce is finalized, however.Circuit Judge Merrilee Ehrlich has stated she has no plans to give Kim her maiden name back. She said “she has a felony conviction, that’s a basis for not restoring [her maiden name].”

Kim will be released from prison early next year and transitioned into house arrest for the rest of her sentence. Prosecution and bankruptcy costs have left the Rothsteins literally penniless, but the judge has granted Kim a 2008 Cadillac that used to belong to her, which is still in possession of one of their attorneys.


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