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Divorce Doesn’t Just Affect Families at Christmas Holidays

The holiday hype is everyone is supposed to be having a great time.  When families experiencing their first holiday season in the throes of a divorce it is more difficult to embrace that holiday cheer.  But really folks, should that holiday humbug be passed on to others around you?

The answer in my small hamlet of Plantation is, apparently, yes.  You see for countless years those of us who make our plantations (and work stations) in Plantation, as well as those from miles around, have come to view the famous “Hyatt House” in Plantation Acres.  But alas, the Hyatt House is no more.   Now, in 2016, the Hyatt House was all the news, and not because of the beautiful lights.  Our wonderful government officials tried to shut down (or “enjoin” as we lawyers call it) the, hands down, most happy feeling, light display in the county.  To not bore you with the details (too much traffic, dangerous, required extra police in the area and…wait for it… some really ticked off neighbors in that tony cul-de-sac ), after a lengthy and news worthy court battle, in October 2016r one of our really nice, former family law judges, who clearly is not the Grinch, determined that, under the law the city failed to prove the extravaganza was a public nuisance. The city lost!

Boo Plantation.

Hurray rest of the county (except the Hyatts’ neighbors) who like really great holiday lights.

And thus, the holiday season was rescued for 2016, not by Cindy -Lou Who, but by Judge Marina Garcia -Wood .

However, like all modern day stories this one has a sequel.

First, although the Hyatts won, and so, ostensibly did the people of Plantation (except the neighbors mentioned above), the taxpayers of Plantation were left with a legal bill of over $400,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs ( $427,002.09 according to a 2016 Sun Sentinel article, but hey, besides us Plantation tax payers, who’s counting?) That’s about $4.55 per Plantation resident. I could have thought of a lot more ways to use that money to improve our fair city. Apparently Mr. Hyatt felt the same because he ran for city council and won.

But who knew that 2017 would be the last year for the lights?

And who knew that, just one Christmas year after the court battle with the city, the Hyatts would begin their own court battle?

Well, apparently the Hyatts knew, because not even a month after delivering probably more Christmas joy than St. Nick himself, Mark Hyatt filed for divorce.

And what a battle it has been. Mrs. H has had four lawyers. The pleadings filed in this case are a mile long. You can’t see the details, but it doesn’t appear any of that happiness that these folks spread to others remains with this family.  And the sadness of this is that it will likely continue until the money runs out…

So Hyatt family, we are all a little disappointed this year. Divorce inevitably changes the lives (at least for a bit) of the families involved. But Hyatts, did you have to ruin a little of our community’s holiday fun while messing up your our lives? (that is a rhetoric questions, just to clarify).

For those of you who are experiencing the holidays and going through a divorce, or those who have recently divorced, here’s the take away…make it a new and special holiday season for the new situation. Call a spousal (or former-spousal) truce for the rest of the year and beyond. Do it for yourselves and for your kids. You may have never had a holiday display like the Hyatts, but it’s not “watt” you do to make the holidays special for your family it’s “what” you do!


The Lights are now Out in Plantation

The Last Hyatt Christmas

And just for nostalgia, I leave you with a picture from the Last Christmas Show- 2017.


Best wishes for health and happiness to all,

Cindy (not“Lou-Who”) Vova



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