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Woman completes divorce 5 years after receiving fake decree

Courts across the country issue divorce decrees to finalize the divorce process, allowing those involved in the divorce to move on with their lives. Faking a divorce decree for any reason can result in serious repercussions. One woman knows the perils of this all too well.

Our Ocean City, New Jersey, readers may be interested in this bit of news from the Pacific Northwest. A woman in Washington is finally officially divorced from her ex-husband after five years of believing her marriage to the United States Army Staff Sergeant had already ended. She filed a complaint with the Army after discovering that her husband had provided her with a fake divorce decree before marrying another woman in 2008. She was forced to re-file divorce paperwork, and the new decree was issued on Thursday, Sept. 6.

While the Army initially charged this woman's ex-husband with seven violations of military law, the prosecution recently informed the woman that they were dismissing the charges. While extremely disappointing to her, she is grateful that at least the divorce is now official. While the Army may not be holding him accountable, one judge signed a court order which should aid the woman in recouping the costs associated with this divorce.

The court awarded her a portion of her ex-husband's retirement earnings, and compensation for her outstanding medical bills which were not covered by her husband's military insurance after the fake decree. State and local courts can verify completed divorce proceedings for those who suspect the presence of a fake decree.

It is important to seek legal counsel and adhere to proper protocol when filing for divorce. Failing to do so could result in serious consequences, and prolonging litigation.

Source: The News Tribune, "Tacoma woman wins divorce from former Army bigamy suspect," Christian Hill, Sept. 7, 2012

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