An unusual divorce case is in the news, and has led some in Arizona to question why certain people would choose to marry in the first place. The matter centers on a man who married a woman 20 years ago, only to divorce her just months after their wedding. He continued to live together with his wife for more than two decades, while she was unaware that he had taken steps to end their marriage shortly after it began.
The woman found out about the divorce recently, after a tax bill arrived at the couple's home but only showed her husband's name. She hired an attorney to look into the matter, and found out that her husband had filed for and been granted a divorce just four months after they took their vows. In citing his reasons for the divorce, the husband stated that his marriage was "unbearable."
The wife has filed a lawsuit to have the foreign divorce nullified. She believes that her husband was planning to sell one of their homes to his adult daughter, which is why he used the foreign divorce paperwork to have his wife's name removed from the deed, and thus the tax bill. She has asked the court to prohibit such a sale from taking place.
It is not clear whether this series of events will prompt the couple to seek a divorce. The woman is currently 59 years old, and she is significantly younger than her 90-year-old husband. It is possible that the couple will remain together, and that the court will fail to acknowledge a divorce that took place in a foreign country in which neither party resided. If the husband cannot prove that his wife was aware of the divorce or given the chance to participate, then the request to nullify could be successful. For Arizona spouses, the case serves as a reminder that a prenup is a far more effective means of protecting against financial losses during divorce.
Source: New York Post, "Husband secretly divorced wife after wedding to protect assets", Kathianne Boniello, Jan. 24, 2016