As some of our Phoenix readers already know, on top of performing her duties as a state representative, Rep. Michelle Ugenti is also trying to make her way through the twists and turns of divorce as well. But while some things are not in dispute, such as the custody of her three children with her soon-to-be ex-husband, this is one thing that is up for debate: why is the marriage considered irretrievably broken?
This is a difficult question that a subpoena filed by Ugenti’s husband only further complicated. As some here in Arizona may not know, the subpoena requested phone records from Verizon Wireless of text messages sent by Ugenti. Ugenti’s husband believes that she was having an affair, which could be substantiated by the text messages.
But because Arizona offers no-fault divorce, proving that she was having an affair could be considered a moot point. This might leave some to wonder why he asked for the records in the first place. According to Ugenti’s attorney, the reason was an “attempt to harass and embarrass” his wife.
Whatever the reason may have been it forced the state lawmaker to exert a rare legislative privilege an attempt to bar her husband from accessing her phone records. She claimed that she often used her cellphone to conduct legislative business. The information would have been of no consequence to the divorce and therefore should not be given over to her husband.
A judge was set to rule on the issue recently, but late last week Ugenti’s husband withdrew his subpoena for unknown reasons.
While a case such as this may seem rare, divorces across the nation often include instances where one spouse tries to air the dirty laundry of their significant other in order to gain an edge in divorce proceedings. As this case points out though, these tactics can sometimes be thwarted by the law, which could be pointed out by a knowledgeable attorney and ended before they prolong litigation.
Source: AZ Central, “Rep. Michelle Ugenti claims legislative privilege in divorce proceeding,” Alia Beard Rau, June 8, 2014 (https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/politics/2014/06/08/michelle-ugenti-legislative-privilege-divorce/10214301/)