Woman with stolen identity gets hit with divorce from stranger

On behalf of Loughmiller Higgins, Attorneys at Law posted in Divorce on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

When people seek a divorce, it is typically because the marriage is simply not working out. However, Texas residents may be interested to hear about a unique case in which one woman was served divorce papers from a man from another country that she had never met. The reason behind this mishap was simple: a stolen identity. Her birth certificate that was lost 16 years ago was being used by a few people for marriage — some speculate for immigration purposes.

The woman learned about the identity theft problem long before when she had tried to marry her current husband in 2004. After going to the City Clerk’s Office for a marriage certificate, she was turned down when officials found out that she had been married twice in 1996 to two men to whom she was purportedly still married. The couple eventually got married in another jurisdiction, though the problem did not go away.

For some time, the woman lived in peace, but one of her “husbands” came to find her in 2009, demanding a divorce. She refused, claiming any such marriage was invalid, and hired a lawyer. Still, the man confronted the woman’s mother-in-law, intent on continuing the divorce. With some quick thinking, her mother-in-law pulled out a wedding picture, in which the “husband” realized that he was trying to divorce a stranger he didn’t know.

She has since cleared her name so that the City Clerk has deemed her 1996 marriages invalid. However, recently she has discovered another marriage in her name. She is currently fighting to get that erased as well.

This case is certainly unique, but it may perhaps be representative of the fact that divorce is not always predictable. Texas residents who are considering divorce may find it helpful to obtain an understanding of the relevant laws as they begin to navigate the process.

Source: Fox News, “NYC Woman Discovers She Is ‘married’ To Multiple Men After Identity Theft,” March 17, 2012

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