Texas couples may be interested in a legal battle in another state that underscores the importance of honesty and disclosure prior to marriage. A husband’s failure to be honest and forthcoming about his past led to a legal battle about property division in another state. The issue arose when the wife, who was 19 years old when she married her 50-year-old husband in 1997, found out about her husband’s indictment on charges of kidnapping and rape of an 18-year-old girl before their marriage.
The husband was sentenced to spend 18 years behind bars in 1999, leaving his wife to fend for herself and their small baby. During his time in prison, his young wife managed to keep her husband’s business afloat and even established her own business. After the man was granted parole in 2011, his wife filed for a divorce. In a Superior Court bench trial, the judge determined that the husband could maintain ownership of their marital home and his business property because he owned the properties before their marriage.
However, the judge ordered the husband to pay his former wife $175,000 in restitution for the money she spent on taxes and repairs to the two properties during his incarceration. She claimed an amount exceeding $200,000. However, the judge authorized a lien on the man’s business until the wife is repaid. The husband appealed, claiming they had a prenuptial agreement, but he reportedly failed to produce a copy of the document. The state appellate court upheld the ruling of the Superior Court judge.
Every divorce is unique and can pose different challenges related to property division. While protecting the rights of a divorcing individual, a family law attorney can provide support and guidance throughout the legal proceedings. Every party to a divorce proceeding in Texas is entitled to a fair division of community property.
Source: mycentraljersey.com, “Court upholds divorce settlement between convict, wife“, Mike Deak, Jan. 4, 2016