Yes... my ex wasn't divorced when he thought he was.
They did mediation/a paralegal.
Now, as has been noted here along the way.. my ex isn't the brightest bulb in the track lighting. He has NO legal expertise and is very trusting in general.
Anywhoo.. the paperwork said (and I've seen it): "Sign here, sign here, and you're divorced!!!". How easy is that?
He had a signed and executed Stipulation of Settlement.. he had copies of the papers "filed" (notice the quotes). They said.. here's your stuff, you're done.
She had waived child support, except for $100 a month. She didn't "need" his money b/c she made more than him (a whopping $4K a year).
Flash forward 2 years+. He meets me.. we date.. we get engaged.. I meet her the week before we get engaged. Thanksgiving Day. At HER insistence.
She finds a reason to send him out of the room (to get something for former stepdaughter) and goes through her "pitch". How wonderful I am, how much former stepdaughter liked me.. how she always talked about me "Miss Dawn this, Miss Dawn that". How THRILLED to bits she was that he had found someone and was happy and that I was so good with her daughter.
Flash forward.... 45 days?
Close on our house January 13th. A Thursday.. the next Friday.. she announces she's pregnant. Okay. Fine. That SUNDAY (we've been in house less than 2 weeks.. actualy HE has been in house.. I haven't even finished moving in yet) she announces "Oh, and by the way? Since you're getting married, and you have HER income, you now owe me child support. GO CHECK YOUR DIVORCE PAPERS." Hint hint.
Sooo, he goes off and digs up papers. Finally gives them to me b/c he can't find anything that SAYS if he gets remarried she unwaives child support.
Nope, no such language. But I ask him "Umm..hon.. where's your divorce decree???". He said "That's it isn't it?"
"ummm... no dear... This is a STIPULATION OF SETTLEMENT whic his only valid upon issuance of a DIVORCE DECREE. Where is your decree??" (me starting to panic)
"that's all I've got. Everything I got is in that file".
Well... call to the court Monday confirmed. NO divorce. Never even FILED the divorce.
The paralegal people caught a problem with her child support waiver and something else with the calculation. They mailed her (certified.. I made them give us a copy). They called her and SPOKE to her (I have an Affidavit from the paralegal). They advised her of the problem, advised her the court would NOT accept the documents and that she needed to take them BACK to the Mediators to correct before they would file them.
She never did a thing.
Now... she DID hire a lawyer to get his name off the house. Immediately.
Now.. she's pregnant. NY has a "presumption of legitimacy". Which means a married woman cannot have an illegitimate child. The child AUTOMATICALLY becomes the responsibility of the husband, whether it's his or not, as long as the child is conceived WHILE THE PARTIES ARE MARRIED. Since she never even filed the papers, they were never even separated.
Legally, she can hook him for child #2. NY doesn't care.
Legally, she also has a right to half the house we closed on less than 2 weeks earlier; however, b/c HIS name is no longer on the other house, he would not have had similar claim to that house.
Long story short.. over $5,000 later.. and an increase in CS of $515 a month (he had another 2 years left on the waiver).. he got divorced.
Our wedding was delayed 2 months. When we found out, we had already booked a hall, I had already put a deposit on a wedding dress. Everything was done, set, planned.
Really kinda sucked.
Our bill would have been higher for the lawyer but he cut us a break b/c I was doing half the editing and negotiating, at least on ex's side. The lawyer met my ex once. (the lawyer was my best girlfriend's lawyer... so he knew me anyway, I'd gone to see his band a ton of times and gone to parties/barbecues and whatnot).
The attorney and I wanted my ex to fight for more than he did.. but he was so shyt scared at that point since she, in addition to child support, also wanted to be able to move the child a certain number of miles that would have changed jurisdictions. There were some other things she wanted to.. that if he gave her other things, like the child support and whatnot.. she gave up on (like the moving distance).
In hindsight.. I should have known my ex was weak and would NEVER stand up to her. But I bought into the fear of the timeframe... that he was embarassed as a man, in front of me, and he'd embarassed me personally.. and he just wanted to get it over with. I loved him, and I believe him and well... the control she had over him in that situation is why we're divorced today. Our divorce was final I think it was 12 days after our 2 year wedding anniversary. And yes.. it's FINAL. I did the divorce myself.. with some guidance from PR's attorney. So I know it's DONE.
Sorry for the history for those who already know.. MT is newer in town and ya gotta admit.. it's a fun story first time around ;)