For many South Florida residents, the Christmas season isn't complete without a trip to see the famous (or infamous) Hyatt family Christmas display in Plantation Acres. Dubbed "Hyatt Extreme Christmas," the display has included a Santa's workshop, Ferris wheel and some 200,000 lights. However, after over two decades, it may have come to an end.
The couple behind it is divorcing -- and it's complicated. The husband is Plantation councilman Mark Hyatt. His wife says that he walked out on her after 27 years this past January without explanation.
Shortly after Hyatt moved out of the couple's sprawling home, his wife says she received a subpoena informing her that there was a judgment against the couple and that their wages were being garnished. They co-owned a real estate company.
Reportedly, Mark Hyatt got a $30,000 loan in 2012 with a Miami bank. The loan is in both of their names, but his wife says she never signed the documents or knew anything about it.
Apparently, Hyatt wasn't paying off the loan as required. The case was settled in a court proceeding that Mrs. Hyatt says she knew nothing about, with an agreement to pay back $23,000. She says her husband and her brother claimed to be representing her in court. However, her attorney says, "She never signed the note. She never agreed to be liable. She never signed the settlement agreement."
Since then, Mark Hyatt has paid off the judgment, and his wife's name was removed from the court order. However, he is being investigated by the state's attorney's office for forgery. Hyatt, who inherited a sizable family trust, pleaded the Fifth Amendment during a deposition when he was asked about the alleged forgery.
Despite his multimillion-dollar inheritance, Hyatt has claimed that he can't afford to pay his wife the spousal support she's seeking. Mrs. Hyatt is telling the local media that she's realizing that she didn't know her husband. She says, "It was like a double life."
Even when no illegal activity is involved, many spouses don't realize what their true financial situation is until they begin divorce proceedings. If you're considering divorce, or believe that your spouse is, it's wise to seek the advice of an experienced West Palm Beach family law attorney as soon as possible and to learn as much as possible about the assets and debts you share with your spouse.