Tag: annulment

A Little Divorce and Annulment

According to celebrity news outlets, Little Women: LA star Christy Gibel wants an annulment five years after getting married to her husband Todd Gibel. The marriage is a small one, but the case does highlight some tiny distinctions between the grounds for getting an annulment and the grounds for a divorce – especially when time is short.

little divorce and annulment

Small Marriage Big Problems

Christy filed new legal documents asking the court to annul her marriage to her husband Todd court records show. The couple got married on May 16, 2014, and they’ve had a turbulent relationship almost from the start, but the little problems have grown out of control.

Sources close to Christy tell TMZ she wants an annulment for two reasons — the marriage was never consummated and she’s accusing him of financial fraud. The TMZ sources claim Todd opened credit card accounts and took out loans under her name without her consent.

The case raises a few questions, the biggest being can an annulment be filed after years of marriage? According to TMZ in California, a person can get an annulment if there’s proof it was fraudulently induced.

Christy now wants out of her marriage – which she alleges has little sex. Some other huge problems, she claims her husband was making little effort to save the marriage and made it difficult for her and her 19-year-old daughter from another relationship.

According to TMZ it’s been a while since they’ve had sex, but they’ve had sex during the marriage. As for her accusations of financial crimes he says that will all come out in court. He adds his attorney has advised him not to talk about it until then.

As true ‘Little Women’ fans know the estranged couple talked about trying to have a little baby. Christy’s daughter even acknowledged hearing them trying. TMZ’s sources also report the short baby-making-talk was all just part of the show. They ultimately focused on trying surrogacy, but they never went through with it.

Florida Annulments are a Little Difficult

What if this short term marriage took place in Florida? I’ve written about divorce and annulment in Florida before. Florida does not have a statute authorizing annulments. The decision to divorce or annul a marriage will depend on certain facts.

Annulment has a long history beginning in England, and if King Henry VIII had been able to secure an annulment from the Pope, England might have remained a Catholic country. Today, annulment may best be known for rescuing Britney Spears from an ill-advised alcohol-related Las Vegas “bender.”

Because Florida is one of the handful of states that has no annulment statute, annulments in Florida are purely a question of common law, decided pursuant to the inherent equitable powers of the circuit court.

The historical common law “impediments” to marriage traditionally fell into two general categories: lack of consent and lack of capacity. This is substantially still the case law in Florida.

Lack of consent would include, for example, people who are related within certain degrees, and minors without parental consent. Lack of capacity includes marriages involving fraud, mental illness, sham marriages, and shotgun weddings.

While none of the “marriage” statutes in Florida specifically address purported marriages between one person and another person who is already legally married to a third party, bigamy is, of course, a crime. Bigamy raises the question: do you divorce or annul the marriage?

A Little Pettiness

While there doesn’t seem to be big reasons for an annulment, there does appear to be a few grounds for the divorce though. The reality TV star filed court pleadings asking a judge to grant her a temporary restraining order against her husband.

The allegations are that he is making life for her and her 19-year-old daughter from another relationship a little miserable. For one, Christy says he has been impersonating her via email and shutting her out of her social media accounts. She also suspects he’s been ripping up her mail.

On an even more petty level, Christy argues he has been unnecessarily raising the temperature in the house to unbearable levels. For that reason and others Christy says she fears for her life and needs a restraining order.

The TMZ article is here.

 

Short Term Alimony Face Off

According to TMZ, actor Nicolas Cage’s estranged wife, Erika Koike, doesn’t care their Las Vegas marriage only lasted for four days before Cage filed for an annulment. Koike says her marriage is valid, wants ‘the rock’ on her finger, and short term alimony.

‘Leaving Las Vegas’

The actor, 55 and his new bride, 34, a makeup artist, had been dating for over a year when ‘the Family Man’ filed for a marriage license in Las Vegas on March 23.

There was no ‘honeymoon in Las Vegas’, and now their ‘face off’ in a Clark County, Nevada court will be about the validity of their short-term marriage.

‘Seeking justice’, Cage filed for the annulment four days later in claiming that he was too drunk to comprehend what he was doing when they were married — and that he was unaware of Koike’s criminal record at the time.

Erika Koike then filed an answer to the complaint for annulment and a Counterclaim for divorce in court a few weeks after the petition was filed – which Cage filed just four-days after they were married in Las Vegas.

In the pleadings, Cage claims he “reacted on impulse and without the ability to recognize or understand the full impact of his actions,” and also says the marriage was based on fraud.

Florida Short-Term Alimony

I’ve recently written about Cage’s divorce and annulment petition. On the topic of alimony and spousal support, the length of a marriage is important. Florida Statutes actually define what the length of your marriage means.

Length of a Marriage

For example, in order to determine alimony, there is a rebuttable presumption in Florida that a short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than 7 years.

Florida Statutes define a moderate-term marriage as a marriage having a duration of greater than 7 years but less than 17 years. And, a long-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of 17 years or greater.

How do you measure the marriage term? In Florida, the length of your marriage is the period of time measured from the date of your marriage until the date of filing of an action to dissolve your marriage.

In Nicolas Cage’s case, a four-day marriage would be considered “short-term” under Florida law. Is there short-term alimony for a short-term marriage?

Types of Alimony

The Length of the marriage is very important when it comes to determining the kind of duration of alimony payments.

For example, permanent alimony is generally for longer term marriages if the statutory criteria are met. In shorter term marriages and for moderate term marriages, permanent alimony may be considered, but the burden of proof is much higher.

Conversely, bridge-the-gap alimony is generally awarded to allow a person to transition from being married to being single. So, bridge-the-gap alimony is designed for short-term needs. In fact, the length of an award bridge-the-gap alimony may not exceed 2 years.

Durational alimony helps provide a person with economic help for a set period of time after short or moderate length marriages or following a marriage of long duration if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis.

The length of your marriage also factors in to property divisions. When a court divides the marital assets and debts, the court begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal. One of the factors a court can look to in justifying an unequal distribution includes the duration of the marriage.

‘National Treasure’ Hunter

Koike claims Cage’s impulsive actions don’t qualify for an annulment. As for the alleged fraud, she argues Cage asked her to start again “in the right way” just 12 days after filing for an annulment … proving their relationship’s legitimate.

If Cage can successfully prove a case for annulment, Koike would not be eligible for spousal support as she would not be his spouse.

However, if Cage fails, and the court finds he had the capacity to marry and wasn’t defrauded, Koike would be entitled to spousal support.

According to TMZ, Koike argues she lost career opportunities during her long relationship with Cage and her reputation’s been damaged by his allegations. She’s also asking him to pay for her legal fees.

Cage has been married three previous times. Cabe was married to Alice Kim, Lisa Marie Presley, and Patricia Arguette.

The TMZ article is here.

Do you Divorce or Annul?

In a divorce fraud case from England, Neil Rattue was married for 15 years before he was found to have forged his divorce decree, and illegally married another woman. Do his two ‘wives’ file for divorce, or, like rats leaving a sinking ship, annul their marriages?

divorce or annul

Smell a Rat

Rattue invented a sickness, claiming he had “terminal cancer” to keep his double life hidden from both ‘wives”. The court in the UK heard a victim statement from his first wife, read out by the prosecutor, who said she felt like her husband had ‘stolen her life’ from her.

Why did he not ask me years ago for a divorce or when he met his new wife? Instead he was leading a double life. I have spent the last 19 years living with my mum as he left me with no other option. I am paying for this both mentally and emotionally. He has stolen my life from me.

Though he stopped seeing his first wife in 2001, he dutifully continued to call her daily for 17 years to ask how she was and discuss their debts, which she was paying off.

A court previously heard his first wife had paid off £30,000 of debt, from credit cards and loans taken out with Rattue, but still had a staggering £37,500 to be paid.

 Florida Divorce and Annulment

What if this took place in Florida? I’ve written about divorce and annulment in Florida before. Florida does not have a statute authorizing annulments. The decision to divorce or annul a marriage will depend on certain facts.

Annulment has a history beginning in England, and if King Henry VIII had been able to secure an annulment from the Pope, England might have remained a Catholic country. Today, annulment may best be known for rescuing Britney Spears from an ill-advised alcohol-related Las Vegas “bender.”

Because Florida is one of the handful of states that has no annulment statute, annulments in Florida are purely a question of common law, decided pursuant to the inherent equitable powers of the circuit court.

The historical common law “impediments” to marriage traditionally fell into two general categories: lack of consent and lack of capacity. This is substantially still the case law in Florida.

Lack of consent would include, for example, people who are related within certain degrees, and minors without parental consent.

Lack of capacity, is exactly the situation the Rattue wives are in. Lack of capacity includes marriages involving fraud, mental illness, sham marriages, and shotgun weddings.

While none of the “marriage” statutes in Florida specifically address purported marriages between one person and another person who is already legally married to a third party, bigamy is, of course, a crime. Bigamy raises the question: do you divorce or annul the marriage?

Whether to divorce or annul will depend on the legality of the marriages. Given that Rattue was never legal divorced, he forged his divorce decree, his second marriage would not likely be recognized in Florida.

This is not only a surprise for the first wife but can be devastating for the second wife. But, it also means his second wife would have to file for an annulment. His first wife, who was legally married, could file for divorce.

Ratatouille

According to the report:

The matter was not heard by a family court judge hearing whether to divorce or annul the marriage(s), but in criminal court. Judge Richard Parkes QC said Rattue had been ‘cowardly’ and ‘deceitful’ in maintaining his marriage to his first wife, despite having started a new marriage and raising children without his first wife even knowing.

Salisbury Crown Court, Wiltshire, heard how Rattue had met his first wife in Wiltshire in 1980 and they were married three years later. Rattue, who often worked away, then met his second wife while traveling.

The pair, who married on October 3, 1998, lived together in York, North Yorkshire, having two children together. Prosecutor Phillip Warren said Rattue had taken a friend’s divorce certificate without him knowing, before using it to forge his own.

Eighteen months ago, he would still phone me at work every day where he would ask me how I was. He still made me pay off all the money. He said we have got to stay married for the purpose of the loan and I believed him. Little did I know, it was because he had already forged our divorce certificate. This has been a prison sentence since 2001 when he left and stole my life from me.

The Mirror article is here.