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  1. #1
    juliejulie is offline Junior Member
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    International Marriage - need annulment or divorce due to bigamy - one minor child

    What is the name of your state? Colorado

    I married my husband in Texas in May of 2005. He has been leading me to believe for two and a half years that he has an ex-wife and three children in his home country. I have recently received information from that woman that he is still married and actually has four children with him. In fact, the fourth child was born a month after my husband and I were married. The information, I believe, is valid.

    We have a five-month old daughter but NO marital property or assets. I know I can probably get an annullment but the court and attorney costs seem to be quite expensive. I am living as a single-mother with no child support so I can't afford the costs.

    My husband (if I can still call him that) still lives in his home country. I have been told in a free consultation that the cost of getting him served can be astronomical. I don't have the money for this. I do know his email addresses, the company he works for (out in the ocean), and I have one business address for when he is not off-shore working. If he can't be reached to be served, what will happen? Can this situation be made easy in any form or fashion? And is it a MUST that I get an annullment? Would a divorce be easier and is a divorce even possible at this point?

    I guess there are too many scenarios to be mentioned. Can anyone give me advice on any one of my questions?

    Thanks for your time.
  2. #2
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliejulie
    What is the name of your state? Colorado

    I married my husband in Texas in May of 2005. He has been leading me to believe for two and a half years that he has an ex-wife and three children in his home country. I have recently received information from that woman that he is still married and actually has four children with him. In fact, the fourth child was born a month after my husband and I were married. The information, I believe, is valid.

    We have a five-month old daughter but NO marital property or assets. I know I can probably get an annullment but the court and attorney costs seem to be quite expensive. I am living as a single-mother with no child support so I can't afford the costs.

    My husband (if I can still call him that) still lives in his home country. I have been told in a free consultation that the cost of getting him served can be astronomical. I don't have the money for this. I do know his email addresses, the company he works for (out in the ocean), and I have one business address for when he is not off-shore working. If he can't be reached to be served, what will happen? Can this situation be made easy in any form or fashion? And is it a MUST that I get an annullment? Would a divorce be easier and is a divorce even possible at this point?

    I guess there are too many scenarios to be mentioned. Can anyone give me advice on any one of my questions?

    Thanks for your time.


    Get a divorce. It is easier, quicker, cheaper, and cleaner.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  3. #3
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    And don't COUNT on CS, especially if he lives in a country that will not enforce a CS order. PLus he has FOUR other kids, and may be ungarnishable. If you get it, great, but you need to be prepared to do this yourself.

    You already knew he had a financial responsibility for at least three kids when you "married" him.
  4. #4
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    What is his country of origin? Was he in this country legally when you married? If you have contact with this woman ask her to send proof of their marriage then you can use that for your divorce or annulment, either of which you should be able to do for little money if you do it yourself. You should immediately file for full custody and for child support, if he is working for an American corporation you may be able to get his salary attached. Also after you have custody, contact the US State department to make sure no passports are issued without your consent. Is he involved in maritime or oil drilling?
  5. #5
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmet4nzkx
    What is his country of origin? Was he in this country legally when you married? If you have contact with this woman ask her to send proof of their marriage then you can use that for your divorce or annulment, either of which you should be able to do for little money if you do it yourself. You should immediately file for full custody and for child support, if he is working for an American corporation you may be able to get his salary attached. Also after you have custody, contact the US State department to make sure no passports are issued without your consent. Is he involved in maritime or oil drilling?
    Unfortunately, that will only apply to a passport from the US. More then likely, dad could have a passport issued by HIS country of origin, even though the child was born in the US. So, even after everything is finalized, the OP shouldn't let her guard down.
  6. #6
    juliejulie is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the replies......

    Seniorjudge - Can I legally get a divorce when I now know that he is still married to another woman? It's not a MUST that I get an annullment?

    rmet4nzkx - Yes he works for an American company and yes he was here legally when I married him. But I really don't care about the child support. I just want to get this over with. If I ask the other wife to send me proof, will I then be forced to get an annullment instead of a divorce? "Seniorjudge" recommends a divorce because it's easier, faster, and cleaner.

    Regarding the passport - this is the main reason why I don't want child support. I don't want him to have any legal weight on his side. Would a judge grant him any kind of custody to the point where he can legally take my daughter out of the country? I am beginning to learn of so many lies, I'm starting to believe he is capable of anything, including keeping her in his country if given the chance.

    My other huge issue, which was mentioned but I haven't received any insight as of yet - can I do publication? Or do I absolutely have to try to have him served? What if he can't be found and what if I can't afford the cost of having him served in a foreign country?

    Will someone who has experience and expertise PLEASE walk me through an ABC "this is what I would do" scenario? I really don't have a clue how to proceed.

    Thanks so much for your time.
    Last edited by juliejulie; 07-02-2006 at 12:11 AM.
  7. #7
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
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    The legality of his first marriage has no impact on being able to get a divorce. It would make you eligible for an annulment, but as SJ pointed out, divorce is "easier, quicker, cheaper, and cleaner" then annulment.

    Ask for sole custody and no visitation for dad. If he's a no-show for the divorce proceedings and you followed proper procedure, he won't be able to have ANY visitation without going back to court. If he shows up, expect the judge to give him some type of visitation. He can be restricted from leaving the country with the child. However, as I stated earlier, just because you can prevent him from having a US passport issued for the child, he can most likely have HIS country issue a passport for her.
  8. #8
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    In addition to asking for sole custody and don't file for any visittion, wait for him to file then fight is in court. Be sure to ask for child supportthrough college since he works for an American company you can collect through CSE and if and or when there is arrearages, he would be barrd from entry. If he defaults or there are no orders for childsupport you should be granted the amount alloted to any person with 1 child according to your state's guidelines they will not take into consideration foreign orders. More than likely he will default. insofar as personal service contact the headquarters of the American corporation and their legal department and arrange for service of the summons many will serve as their agent.
  9. #9
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmet4nzkx
    In addition to asking for sole custody and don't file for any visittion, wait for him to file then fight is in court. Be sure to ask for child supportthrough college since he works for an American company you can collect through CSE and if and or when there is arrearages, he would be barrd from entry. If he defaults or there are no orders for childsupport you should be granted the amount alloted to any person with 1 child according to your state's guidelines they will not take into consideration foreign orders. More than likely he will default. insofar as personal service contact the headquarters of the American corporation and their legal department and arrange for service of the summons many will serve as their agent.
    Personally, I would hold off on petitioning for child support. He is more likely to show up in court and ask for visitation if he thinks being a no-show would actually COST him money.

    She can always petition for support after the custody and visitation orders are signed, sealed and delivered.
  10. #10
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceara19
    Personally, I would hold off on petitioning for child support. He is more likely to show up in court and ask for visitation if he thinks being a no-show would actually COST him money.

    She can always petition for support after the custody and visitation orders are signed, sealed and delivered.
    It is better to petitiion for child support, that is in the best interest of the child and get that established as soon as possible, who knows how long it will take to acuate the divorce/annulment and she can use the money since she is abandoned. Visitaiton is iptional and best left to dad which he may or not address in his response, if he responds, that is an issue that can go either way. She has said nothing about any abuse per se, only the lies and betrayal, it is better to set up any possible support payments while they can be successfully initiated. Whether or not he or his attorney appear at court in person or telephonically or their is a default is not our concern, our focus id to respond as to what ithe law says about the best interest of the child, not to aid and abet the poster in circumventing the law or to act in bad faith. If she wants or needs restraining orders, they too can be a part of her petitions. Remember this forum is no place for bias. I already addressed the possibility of international parental child abduction as it pretains to USC since she failed to provide the country of origin we cannot advise her whether or not his country of origin is a signitor of the Hague Convention, but IF she visits the site I suggested she can still get her answers there on how to proceed. So many ofouor posters come here because they avoided filing in court far too long.
  11. #11
    LdiJ is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceara19
    Personally, I would hold off on petitioning for child support. He is more likely to show up in court and ask for visitation if he thinks being a no-show would actually COST him money.

    She can always petition for support after the custody and visitation orders are signed, sealed and delivered.
    Gotta agree with this response. Its in the best interest of this child to be safe....anything that motivates dad to quickly file for visitation puts the child at risk.

    Someone who would commit deliberate bigamy has no moral compass, and with him being from another country that makes him a serious flight risk.
  12. #12
    juliejulie is offline Junior Member
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    Thankyou.

    Thankyou so much for your responses. I can see that this is going to take great thought. I'm going to have to print your replies off at work and study each response. I'm not use to the legal terminology and proceedings that I'm sure are second-nature to all of you.

    Please forgive me if I seem to continue to ask some of the same questions. I don't mean to be repetitive - only trying to cover every avenue to protect the baby.

    I'm sure I'll have a few more finalizing questions before I start acting on the advice.

    Thanks again. You all are wonderful people for helping out the layperson.
  13. #13
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmet4nzkx
    It is better to petitiion for child support, that is in the best interest of the child and get that established as soon as possible, who knows how long it will take to acuate the divorce/annulment and she can use the money since she is abandoned. Visitaiton is iptional and best left to dad which he may or not address in his response, if he responds, that is an issue that can go either way. She has said nothing about any abuse per se, only the lies and betrayal, it is better to set up any possible support payments while they can be successfully initiated. Whether or not he or his attorney appear at court in person or telephonically or their is a default is not our concern, our focus id to respond as to what ithe law says about the best interest of the child, not to aid and abet the poster in circumventing the law or to act in bad faith. If she wants or needs restraining orders, they too can be a part of her petitions. Remember this forum is no place for bias. I already addressed the possibility of international parental child abduction as it pretains to USC since she failed to provide the country of origin we cannot advise her whether or not his country of origin is a signitor of the Hague Convention, but IF she visits the site I suggested she can still get her answers there on how to proceed. So many ofouor posters come here because they avoided filing in court far too long.
    I'm sure she could use the the extra money that child support would provide. But, RELYING on CS to pay the bills is a very bad place to be. Every day, that at least one custodial parent comes HERE with:

    "My ex has been paying CS faithfully for XX months/years. But now they lost their job and the payments have stopped. If I don't get a child support check soon, I'm going to be evicted/lose my car/starve to death."

    In THIS case there is an even greater likelihood that the NCP will stop paying at some point (if he ever starts to begin with). He may be working for an American company today, but that's no guarantee that he will be there tomorrow.

    Dad's country of origin makes no difference as far as I'm concerned. He is a foreign citizen. Even if HIS country is part of the Hague Convention, once the child leaves the US, dad could very easily take her to a country that's not.

    The chances of that actually happening may be remote, but so were the chances that the OP would end up marrying and having a child with a foreigner that already has a wife and family in another country.

    If a person wants to "play the odds", they should do it in Vegas, not in family court.
  14. #14
    juliejulie is offline Junior Member
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    Part II of my Bigamy saga.....

    I want to thank you all who advised me last time I posted once again. As it stands now, my "husband" (of many) has agreed to sign the divorce papers so far. I think I mentioned before that having him "served" would cost upwards of $1000 since he lives in a foreign country.

    I have researched (even though the breakthroughs seem to be at the speed of crawling) and I have found out that notary public services are available in his country. Therefore, if I FedEx the paperwork to him, he signs, has them notarized, and returns them to me, can I go through ALL of the proceedings by myself after that point?

    I'm trying to avoid paying an extreme amount of money when I can accomplish my goals through other means.

    I'm quite sure his feelings could change when I send him the parenting time and decision-making agreements as well as child-support documentation. But best-case scenario - if all goes well and he signs, am I home-free?
  15. #15
    LdiJ is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliejulie
    I want to thank you all who advised me last time I posted once again. As it stands now, my "husband" (of many) has agreed to sign the divorce papers so far. I think I mentioned before that having him "served" would cost upwards of $1000 since he lives in a foreign country.

    I have researched (even though the breakthroughs seem to be at the speed of crawling) and I have found out that notary public services are available in his country. Therefore, if I FedEx the paperwork to him, he signs, has them notarized, and returns them to me, can I go through ALL of the proceedings by myself after that point?

    I'm trying to avoid paying an extreme amount of money when I can accomplish my goals through other means.

    I'm quite sure his feelings could change when I send him the parenting time and decision-making agreements as well as child-support documentation. But best-case scenario - if all goes well and he signs, am I home-free?
    If he signs I believe that you should be home free. However, get a brief consult with a local attorney to be absolutely certain.

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