— The holiday season in the Aguiar home was always about celebrations, with the family observing both the Christian and Jewish rituals for this time of year.
But this December, there are no outdoor decorations at the Aguiars' $5 million Rio Vista Isles estate. And while the calendar says it's Christmas, it also marks six months since 35-year-old Guma Aguiar vanished after steering his motorboat through Port Everglades on a nighttime cruise.
The clouds of litigation he left behind, and new cases begun in his absence, continue. They include lawsuits with an uncle over profits from a company sale and against his siblings and mother over ownership of real estate in Israel.
"It's a very difficult time," said Jamie Aguiar, 33, about coping without her husband of seven years. "I try and count our blessings every single day and try and think of what I'm grateful for."
Those gifts include the couple's daughter and three sons, ages 7 years to 15 months. She said she is "thankful that they have their health. We have food on the table. I just keep reminding myself of that."
Guma Aguiar vanished June 19, leaving Jamie in limbo.
Is she a widow, or an abandoned wife who has to fight his legal battles without him? It takes five years to be legally declared dead in Florida.
The couple's British-Colonial mansion, 75-foot Lazzara yacht and the motorboat that washed ashore without Guma were put on the market, but all remain unsold.
Last April, Jamie Aguiar sought a judge's opinion on whether their prenuptial agreement was fraudulent.
Two months later, the man who friends say could also be a loving husband and father, was gone.
Legal billings submitted to the estate are approaching $1 million a month, according to some of the attorneys participating in the litigation.more