A flight instructor from Arlington was booked on adultery and bigamy charges after evidence was released that he had never officially split with his first wife before marrying his second. The 38-year-old Texas native reportedly spent weekdays living with one wife and child in Arlington, and spent his weekends in Grapevine with the woman he married after filing fake Texas divorce papers online. This arrangement has persisted for over three years.
The man married his first wife in 2004, and they had a child together in 2006. By 2009, the couple had unofficially split, and the man filed for divorce through online channels. The divorce was never legally ratified, but once the couple reconciled, the man kept the divorce papers and used them as proof of his alleged divorce when he married his second wife three hours after filing. The scheme was discovered when his second wife discovered bills being paid from their account for his first, and the man was arrested for bigamy. A grand jury did not indict him on these charges as they fell outside the statue of limitations.
The man ultimately $6,000 in court costs and child support obligations to obtain a real divorce with his first wife, which was granted on the grounds of adultery. The court has also ordered him to attend counseling with his son. He remains married to his second wife in Grapevine.
A case like this highlights the potential challenges associated when a spouse does not process their divorce through proper legal channels. While the man in question is said to have intentionally falsified his own records, it is far preferable for couples seeking a permanent separation to ensure all steps have been followed in accordance with applicable laws in order to ensure their Texas divorce is finalized and legally binding. The steps to finalizing a divorce can seem complicated, so it is helpful if both parties are fully versed in their rights and responsibilities.
Source: New York Daily News, "Texas man arrested for bigamy, had 2 wives 20 miles apart," Lee Moran, April 9, 2013