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Is it possible to go through a divorce and not know about it?

A woman who has been married for 20 years was recently shocked to find out that her husband sought and obtained a divorce from her in a foreign country just months after they exchanged their vows. She is now suing to have that divorce nullified. Many Florida readers would not be shocked if the wife's next step is to initiate a divorce here in the United States.

The woman learned of the secret divorce when a tax bill arrived for one of the couple's homes. Her name was not on that bill, which prompted her to have an attorney look into the matter. He found out that the husband had used paperwork from the foreign divorce to have her name removed from the deed to their home. It is believed that he did so to facilitate plans to sell the property to his adult daughter.

The divorce was filed in a country where neither party resided. Neither husband nor wife showed up to participate in hearings on the matter, but the divorce went through regardless. In her recent filing, the wife claims that the divorce is not legal in either country because she did not give her consent, no parties were present and the matter was not published in a newspaper as required by law.

The court in the couple's state of residence will now determine if the foreign divorce is legitimate. It is unclear whether the parties are currently seeking a divorce; the wife is now 59 years old and her husband has reached the age of 90. However, she has stated that she believes that her marriage has been a loving one, and that she is hurt by the fact that her husband has known all along that the couple might not be legally married. Few Florida readers would be shocked if this series of events led to a new divorce filing.

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

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