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Court rejects wife's appeal of immigrant husband's divorce decree

There are several negative outcomes that can arise when an American citizen marries an immigrant to allow that person to become a citizen. In one Texas case, a woman admittedly married a man from another country to facilitate his ability to become a citizen. She later discovered that he had already been married to someone in his country for many years. The woman tried to file a divorce action but found that the man had already filed for a divorce with forged documents.

She claimed that her sister took her identification and signed in front of a notary without her permission or knowledge. She then filed an action alleging breach of contract, fraud and violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act against the former husband and several other defendants who allegedly assisted him in the fraudulent proceedings. While her claim was pending, the husband died.

She also then claimed that she was supposed to be listed on the husband's life insurance policy as the beneficiary. She alleged, however, that the deceased husband's uncle was listed as beneficiary. She apparently asserted that there was a contractual obligation by the husband to list her as the beneficiary. She also continued to pursue her lawsuit to have the divorce declared void.

If there was no divorce, she would qualify under Texas law to take a substantial percentage of the man's assets as his surviving spouse. A Texas Court of Appeals recently rejected her appeal and affirmed the lower court's decision favoring the defendants. The appellate court explained that the plaintiff had failed to present evidence sufficient to support her claims. One moral of the story may be that marrying for the illegal purpose of evading the immigration laws is, at a minimum,  a perilous venture.

Source:, "9th District court denies appeal for woman who alleged marriage was voided", S. Laney Griffo, July 19, 2017

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