Florida Congressman to Settle Bigamy & Divorce Case
United States Congressman Alan Grayson and his former wife, Lolita, have finally agreed to terms to annul their 25-year marriage after a contentious, public divorce case. Their divorce has been rife with public accusations, fighting, and allegations of everything from theft of marital property to negligence to bigamy. Now, after a year since the initial divorce petition the case is finally going to be closed.
The couple decided to come together in cooperation to resolve their differences instead of airing their dirty laundry in open court. They discussed the terms of the agreement for about an hour prior to the hearing in front of the judge. In a prepared statement, the judge said “The court has been made aware of the terms of the settlement, which based upon the law, does include an annulment of the marriage, [and] the parties are working in good faith toward a fair and just resolution.”
The judge had previously urged the couple to settle, especially for the sake of their five children. As an annulment, the validity of the marriage is erased as opposed to the legal end of a marriage in a divorce. Congressman Grayson petitioned for the annulment in response to his wife’s petition for divorce, claiming that at the time of their marriage she was still married to another man. According to his investigators, Lolita Grayson did not officially divorce her first husband until 1994, but they were married back in 1990.
In addition, the annulment would not require the equitable division of assets like a divorce would require. The settlement terms will determine who gets what assets after the annulment is final, and it does not have to be an equal split. In a divorce, the couple would be required to split the marital assets in an equitable fashion, as decided either in the settlement or by the court. One spouse is also not required to pay the other former spouse any alimony with an annulment, when it would be required in a divorce if one spouse was making significantly more than the other.
Neither Grayson nor their attorneys commented to the media after the court hearing, but the final decision and settlement is expected for the couple very soon. Because the marriage lasted so long before it was annulled, the settlement will contain similar terms to a divorce including child custody, child support, and the division of assets.
Contact a Florida Divorce Attorney Today
The public Grayson divorce can teach many valuable lessons regarding divorce proceedings in Florida. While few marriages end in annulments like the Grayson’s, the case does illustrate how ugly a divorce can be if the couple does not work together to reach an equitable result. If you or someone that you know wishes to get a divorce in the Orlando area, let the experienced family law office of Steve W. Marsee help. We will examine your case and begin working immediately.