Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Couple ties the knot -- again -- after marriage invalidated

A couple in Michigan is celebrating their second marriage -- to each other -- now that the wife has finally gotten her first marriage out of the way.

After meeting in 2010 on MySpace, the couple dated for three years before deciding to marry. They had to wait until 2016, however, because the woman's health issues kept interfering with their plans. In 2016, they finally tied the knot.

The only problem is that the marriage wasn't legal.

Both the husband and wife had been married before. He had secured a divorce from his first wife in 2000. She thought that she'd been divorced from her first husband since 1993, while she was still living in Texas.

Shortly after her second marriage, however, she was shocked to discover that she was legally a bigamist. Her marriage had never been finalized. The Texas family court judge who oversaw her divorce had died, and somehow the paperwork never got finished. Without it, she wasn't actually free to marry again -- although she hadn't intentionally done anything wrong.

A little bit of legal finesse was required to bring the woman's first marriage to a close. Then, to set the record right, the woman and her new-found love appeared before a judge in a Michigan court to have their marriage voided -- right before asking the judge to remarry them.

While this kind of thing definitely isn't the normal road to the altar for most couples, it does show the perils of not making certain that everything is properly finalized in a family court case. After a divorce is approved by the judge, a court order has to be issued. It becomes enforceable once it is filed with the court clerk. Sometimes a backlog with the courts will cause a delay -- and that can mislead people into thinking that their divorces are done before they really are.

Situations like this illustrate the value of having an experienced divorce attorney in your corner. That's often the best way to avoid unexpected upsets months -- or years -- down the line.

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Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.
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Rochester Hills, MI 48309

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