Don't entrust your neighbor to file your divorce papers

There is no denying that divorce can be a long and bumpy road, especially if there is conflict over the divorce settlement. Nonetheless, careful attention to detail is required throughout the process to ensure that each party is treated fairly. New Yorkers may be interested in a somewhat extreme case that demonstrates the importance of proper follow-through when it comes to divorce.

A 42-year-old corrections officer was married to his first wife in 2001, and the couple separated in 2009. After the separation, the man claims that he tried to obtain a divorce with the help of his neighbor, who was apparently entrusted with filing the required paperwork. But, as you might expect, that didn't exactly work out, and the husband and wife were still legally married as of recently.

Thinking himself divorced, though, the man married a second wife. However, his second wife's profile appeared on Facebook as a suggested friend for the first wife, who noted a wedding cake and wedding pictures in the second wife's photos. The first wife then proceeded to alert authorities to her husband's bigamy.

The defendant pleaded guilty to attempted bigamy and was given a year of probation. Since the circumstances were found out, he has annulled his second marriage and is in the process of formally divorcing his first wife.

A divorce can be a difficult thing to face, but for a marriage to be officially ended, the proper channels have to be used. This ensures that the individuals involved receive the financial settlement they expect and that they are confident in pursuing new relationships after the divorce.

Source: New York Daily News, "Bigamist busted: 1st wife finds 2nd on Facebook," Michael Walsh, Sept. 15, 2012

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