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Former state trooper convicted, sentenced for stalking ex-wife

In some especially difficult divorces, feuding spouses may resort to extreme means to make their points clear. A recent family law case out of Forth Worth, Texas, demonstrates just how extreme those tactics can become: in late August, a jury convicted a former Texas state trooper of stalking his former wife.

Contentious divorces, in which attorneys for both spouses do battle in the courtroom, can involve dramatic accusations, such as threatening or stalking. Such issues are less common in collaborative law, however, because this approach emphasizes agreement over adversarial acrimony.

In traditional divorce proceedings, though, even former officers of the law can fall prey to the temptations of discord. The 41-year-old former state trooper divorced his wife in 2009, but according to her, matters between the two soured as time went on. The wife's lawyers say that her former husband created a fake online dating profile in her name, and even lured men to her home who were expecting to have sex with her.

Men also began calling the woman at work, and eventually she realized someone had to have been using her name or image on the web. After authorities searched her ex-husband's computer, they found images of the woman that could have been used in the online impersonation.

The man received a sentence of four years' probation; he could have faced several years in prison as a result of the convictions for stalking and online impersonation.

Thankfully, even for the most distressed couples, divorces need not result in similar displays of ill will and revenge. Texas offers an alternative in collaborative law, which aims to help couples avoid court whenever possible. Conflict resolution is the overriding objective, and both parties must formally declare their commitment to this at the outset of a collaborative divorce.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Ex-Texas trooper gets probation in stalking case," Aug. 29, 2012

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

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