Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Oprah's father deals with contentious divorce

Massachusetts celebrity watchers may have seen the controversy surrounding the father of television icon Oprah Winfrey's father, Vernon, who is going through a split and likely divorce. A trust established by the television icon is the owner of the Tennessee home her father and stepmother lived in before the split, and now a complicated family law squabble may be brewing.

Earlier this summer the star's father filed for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. He claimed that his wife was guilty of inappropriate marital conduct. Not to be outdone, his wife fired back, claiming that her husband cheated on her, conspired to have her evicted and even tried to kill her.

Since 2000, the couple had lived in the home owned in trust by the television star, but after the divorce the star's spokesperson said the home would be sold since her father no longer lives there. After hearing this, the star's stepmother had some very choice words for her stepdaughter, claiming that she felt the star was just trying to intimidate her. However, the star has said she will not evict her stepmother from the home, hopefully putting an end to what has become an embarrassing public family drama.

Divorce is between two people, but it is often the case that other family members can get drawn in and will be affected by their actions. Keeping family emotions out of a divorce can simplify things exponentially in an otherwise messy divorce, which is something to think about when handling the end of a marriage.

It seems that the divorce spectacle may not be over yet, though. The star's father claims he makes under $300 a month after expenses, while his spouse claims her expenses total nearly $12,000. That disparity should make for an interesting property division and alimony calculation.

Source: USA Today "Oprah stops eviction triggered by father's divorce," by Kevin Walters, November 1, 2012

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