George Zimmerman's wife files for divorce in Florida, lawyer says

MIAMI Thu Sep 5, 2013 8:26pm EDT

George Zimmerman's wife, Shellie, watches her husband leave the courtroom during a recess in his trial at the Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Florida July 12, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Burbank/Pool

George Zimmerman's wife, Shellie, watches her husband leave the courtroom during a recess in his trial at the Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Florida July 12, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Joe Burbank/Pool

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MIAMI (Reuters) - The wife of George Zimmerman filed for divorce on Thursday, her lawyer said, less than two months after Zimmerman was acquitted of murder in the shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida.

Shellie Zimmerman, 26, sought the divorce after she said last week in an interview with ABC News that the trial had strained their marriage of six years.

Her lawyer, Kelly Sims, did not specify the reason for the divorce in an email to Reuters, and a Seminole County Court clerk in central Florida said she had not seen any filing yet.

"Shellie has, indeed, filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in Seminole County this afternoon," Sims told Reuters.

He said Shellie Zimmerman was seeking custody of the couple's two dogs plus "equitable distribution" of their assets and debts. The court filing listed her assets at $12,729 and debts at $103,756, mostly from school loans, an auto loan and credit card bills, he said.

"There comes a time when you know you just can't continue living with someone. That time is now for Shellie," Sims said.

Zimmerman was acquitted in July of killing 17-year-old Martin as he walked back to the townhouse where he was staying after buying snacks at a nearby convenience store, ending a case that captivated and polarized the U.S. public on issues of race, gun and self-defense laws.

John Donnelly, a family friend who testified in George Zimmerman's defense at his trial, told Reuters that Shellie was "devastated" when her husband "just packed up and left" after his acquittal and was gone for a month without telling anyone his whereabouts.

Shellie had lost touch with him and had grown increasingly upset, Donnelly said. Donnelly added that he and his wife had been taking Shellie to dinner and a movie weekly since the acquittal.

A spokesman for George Zimmerman's lawyer declined to comment and it was unclear whether Zimmerman had been served with divorce papers.

(Additional reporting by Chris Francescani and Jane Sutton; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Eric Walsh)

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