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Congressman seeks annulment, says marriage never legal

For some New York couples, divvying up the assets from a marriage can be one of the most tedious and difficult tasks to complete. However, this process might not be so difficult if a couple's marriage was never legal in the first place. That's exactly what one congressman claims, asserting that he should be granted an annulment rather than a divorce.

Congressman Alan Grayson married Lolita Grayson in 1990. Unfortunately, Rep. Grayson says that his wife was still married to her ex when they said, "I do." She and her ex-husband didn't have their marriage legally ended until 1994 which -- if true -- may mean that she committed bigamy. In these types of instances, it is usually the second marriage that is not legal.

However, Lolita Grayson says that she had already divorced her ex-husband long before marrying the congressman. According to her, the divorce from her previous marriage was finalized in 1981. She says that she wasn't even divorced in the United States as her husband claims, but in Guam. Although Rep. Grayson did produce a dissolution of marriage dated 1994 from the state of Florida with her name on it, she insists that it is not hers.

Annulments typically apply to marriages that were never legal in New York in the first place, though other factors can contribute to an annulment being a more appropriate option than a divorce. Although an annulment dissolves a marriage much like a divorce, the process and final outcome can be very different. Should Rep. Grayson be granted an annulment, he would not be obligated to pay any alimony to his ex-wife or go through the process of asset division. It remains to be seen what decision the court will make, but the claims of both parties -- and evidence upon which they are based -- will likely be thoroughly examined in accordance with applicable laws. 

Source:, "Congressman to argue that estranged wife committed bigamy", Mike Schneider, March 8, 2015

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