Here are some great facts from a case out of Sacramento County. This is for real!
Patricia married Richard in 1973. Patricia started dating Henry in 1987. Patricia started dating Jeffrey in 1988. At the time he was dating Patricia, Jeffrey was married to Debra. Notice I have yet to mention any divorces or break-ups.
Particia broke up with Richard in mid 1988. She continued to date Jeffrey and Henry. In May of 1988 Patricia got a restraining order against Henry. She served the retraining order on Henry, and then she and Henry met in Reno to talk about it. After a few shots of tequila Patricia and Henry went to a Reno wedding chapel and got married. She spent the night with him in Reno, and then returned to her boyfriend Jeffrey in Sacramento.
Patricia divorces Richard in December, 1988. Jeffrey divorces Debra in April, 1991. Patricia and Jeffrey get married in June, 1991. Notice there is nothing about Patricia divorcing Henry.
In 2008 Patricia and Jeffrey break-up. Patricia files for divorce. Jeffrey files to have their marriage annulled. A divorce ends a valid marrige. An anullment declares the marriage void. It is as if the marriage never occcured. Jeffrey argued that his marriage to Patricia was void because she was still married to Henry when she married Jeffrey. According to Jeffrey that is bigamy, and that equals void marriage for Patricia and Jeffrey. Annulment also equals no spousal support and no community property division.
Proving that she has more luck than a leprechaun on St. Patty's Day, Patricia wins. The court decides that because she was still married to Richard when she married Henry in 1988, her marriage to Henry was void from its inception. By the time she married Jeffrey Patricia had gotten a divorce from Richard. She did not need to get a divorce from Henry because that marriage was never valid. She was a single women -- as that term is defined legally -- when she married Jeffrey, and it was a valid marriage.
What does it all mean? It means that Patricia can now go back to court and get spousal support and property from Jeffrey.
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