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Man appears to have ordered secret foreign divorce

Tolison & Williams | 27 January, 2016 | Family Law

Few things are more powerful than greed, and divorce attorneys see more than their fair shares of greed. In most cases, couples in Colorado and elsewhere are focused on obtaining the most favorable property division settlements possible. Spouses may engage in seemingly endless arguments when trying to reach their goals, but both spouses are usually aware that both of them are entitled to a share of their marital wealth. In some cases, however, spouses take actions that exceed the normal scope of behavior, and some will go to great lengths to ensure that their partners walk away from divorce with very little.

An example is found in a high-profile case that has made recent headlines. The case centers on a man and woman who are seeking a divorce after 20 years of marriage. What makes the story unusual is the fact that the man took steps shortly after marrying his wife to divorce her in another country...without her knowledge. As it now stands, the wife has filed suit to nullify that divorce and to keep her husband from selling their home.

The man filed for divorce just four months after marrying his wife in 1994. He hired two attorneys to handle the matter, so that both sides would be represented. He did not appear in person, however, and neither did his new bride, who asserts that she never gave her consent to the divorce, nor was she aware of the divorce. She learned of the divorce after a tax bill came to the couple's home addressed only to the husband, at which point she hired an attorney to look into the matter.

It is unclear whether the couple will now begin the process of divorce in the United States or whether the wife's legal case is simply to avoid inheritance problems. She is now 59 years of age, and her husband is 90. Her attorney has stated that her husband went through with the secret divorce in order to protect his assets, and he removed his wife's name from the deed to their home so that he could sell the property to his adult daughter. If the pair do seek to divorce in their state of residence, it is unlikely that the court will allow the foreign divorce to stand. Colorado readers could learn more about the case as the couple approaches the court date.   

Source: New York Post, "Husband secretly divorced wife after wedding 'to protect assets'", Kathianne Boniello, Jan. 24, 2016