Now in Legal Rebels:
Posted Feb 10, 2012 01:27 pm CST
An out-of-state guardian for two minor children of a Florida polo mogul has retained an in-state lawyer to fight John Goodman’s recent adoption of his 42-year-old girlfriend.
Arguing that the adoption contravenes public policy and that the judge who approved it wasn’t told the full story, attorney Joseph Rebak is asking a Miami-Dade Circuit Court to reverse it, reports the Palm Beach Post.
The adoption means that assets held in trust for Goodman’s children will now be split three ways instead of two and is expected to give Goodman’s girlfriend, Heather Anne Hutchins, access to $9 million or so.
And there is now the possibility that another party will have a claim to a significant share of the money, too.
Goodman is facing both a criminal driving-under-the-influence manslaughter case and a civil wrongful death case in Palm Beach County concerning his alleged role in causing a fatal auto accident nearly two years ago.
Following the adoption, a judge who is overseeing a wrongful death case against Goodman reversed a previous ruling and held that trust assets can be used to satisfy any judgment that the parents of the dead man are awarded.
“If Mr. Goodman is bound to Ms. Hutchins, and feels as though he would like to protect her and take care of her financially, the obvious solution would be to marry her—not to make her his child,” wrote Rebak in a Miami legal filing challenging the adoption.
Goodman hasn’t yet responded to that matter. However, he is asking the judge in the Palm County wrongful death case to put it on hold while the adoption challenge is resolved.
ABAJournal.com: “Polo Mogul Adopts Girlfriend, 42, as His Daughter in Claimed Ploy to Shield Assets from Pending Suit”