Justice Delores J. Thomas


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Husband filed for divorce, and wife moved for a declaration the marriage was void. Wife noted her attorney in Dominican Republic (DR), in the course of ascertaining how to appraise property the couple co-owned, discovered husband was married previously, but not divorced. Husband opposed wife’s motion arguing the marriage certificate presented evidencing the prior marriage in DR was a fraudulent document. He indicated the national identity card number on the document was not his, submitting a card with a different number. The court noted husband sought to delay the determination of wife’s motion on the basis he commenced an action in DR to declare his prior marriage void, yet, three months have passed since that time, and husband failed to inform the court of any decision by the DR courts. As such, it did not find any further delay was warranted. Also, it noted husband’s former DR passports showed another identification number for him, similar to the one on the marriage certificate, an indicator he had a prior identity card, husband’s claim the marriage certificate was fraudulent was meritless, and his claim the prior marriage never occurred was unsubstantiated. The court declared husband and wife’s marriage void ab initio, dismissing the divorce action.