Divorce can be a challenging process no matter who you are or how much
money is involved. In some cases, though, the challenges are greater due
to the fact that parties choose to make matters more difficult. Such needless
contentiousness is often what people think of when they think of divorce.
Representative Michelle Ugenti is currently going through such a
divorce, and is now citing her status as a lawmaker in order to avoid her husband
Frank Ugenti’s attempt to subpoena her in order to obtain text messages
he suspects reveal she had or is having an affair with a co-worker in
the Arizona House of Representatives.
The kicker: whether or not she is having an affair is, under state law,
irrelevant to the issues remaining in their ongoing divorce case. The
couple has already hammered out the custody aspect of the case and while
financial negotiations are ongoing, Michelle Ugenti has pointed out that
there is no new information regarding finances contained in the messages.
According to her attorney, Michelle Ugenti is protected against an investigation
into her cell phone records under legislative privilege since the text
message contain communications with staff members and other legislators
and content connected to her efforts at re-election.
Obviously, the Ugenti divorce is a contentious one, and a good reminder
of what can happen when people do not end their marriage on amicable terms.
In such cases, it is critical for parties to work with an attorney who
understands both their need for advocacy and their interest in swiftly
and efficiently resolving the case.
Source: Arizona Capitol Times, “Ugenti Legislative privilege prevents search for evidence of affair with
co-worker,” Hank Stephenson, May 30, 2014.