After George Zimmerman's silence, Shellie asks judge to grant divorce

SANFORD — Frustrated by George Zimmerman's failure to respond to her divorce petition, Shellie Zimmerman is now asking a judge to stop the delays and simply grant her a divorce.

Shellie Zimmerman, 26, filed for a divorce Sept. 5.

Her estranged husband has yet to file any sort of response.

He is the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer acquitted last year of murdering Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, in Sanford Feb. 26, 2012.

Under Florida law, someone sued for divorce is required to respond within 20 days, once he's formally been serviced notice of the suit.

George Zimmerman dodged process servers for months but was finally served on Dec. 18 while he was locked in the Seminole County jail on a domestic violence charge.

His 20 days ran out earlier this month. On Jan. 13, Shellie Zimmerman's attorney, Kelly Sims, filed a motion for a default, and a deputy clerk of courts entered a finding of default the same day.

That means the judge may now treat the statements in his wife's pleadings as truthful, and the case may now move forward, with or without his participation.

The couple separated in August.

They have no children and own no real estate.

Shellie Zimmerman is asking for custody of their two dogs, Oso and Leroy.

She listed $13,000 in assets and nearly $104,000 in debts.

In a recent financial affidavit he filed in that domestic violence case, which has since been dismissed by prosecutors, he reported $2.5 million in debts, what he says he owes defense attorneys Mark O'Mara and Don West.

"The next step is for me to request a trial," said Sims. "I know nothing about his finances. I don't even know where he lives. I can't get a bead on him. … I want to move forward and get them divorced."

rstutzman@tribune.com or 407-650-6394