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This wife never knew of her own divorce

Most of the cases that come before a family court judge follow a predictable path. From time to time, however, there are cases in Texas and elsewhere that deviate from the norm. They provide the chance to educate, inform and sometimes even entertain the public. An example may be found in a current dispute between a husband and wife over the legality of a secret divorce initiated by the husband many years ago.

The couple have been married for 20 years, and the spouses have raised a son together. When the wife received a tax bill for one of their homes, she noticed that her name was not listed. She hired an attorney to look into the matter, and he discovered that her husband had provided divorce papers to remove her name from the deed to the property.

As it turns out, her husband had initiated a foreign divorce just months after the couple took their vows. The divorce was filed in a nation where neither party resided, and neither showed up to any of the legal proceedings. The divorce went through, however, although there is some question as to whether it is legal in that country or any other.

The wife believes that her husband took that step in an attempt to shield his considerable assets from loss during any future property division process that might arise. She also believes that he intended to sell one of their homes to his adult daughter, which is the motivation behind the recent property record alteration. She has sued him to nullify the foreign divorce, although it is unclear whether the pair will move toward a divorce here in the United States. For readers in Texas, this case serves as an example of the lengths to which some people will go to try and protect their assets from division during a divorce.  

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

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