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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4788
Experience:  I have assisted many customers and clients with their family law questions and I'm experienced in family law litigation.
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My husbands first wife failed to notify him when she remarried

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My husband's first wife failed to notify him when she remarried and continued to collect alimony. He received a judgment against her in Fairfax County, VA. She lives in Las Vegas. She hasn't paid anything on the judgment since the ruling in 2001. Does he have any options in getting her to pay. The judgment was for $125,000 with 9% annual interest.

texlawyer :

Good evening. I'll be assisting you with your qustion.

texlawyer :

*question.

texlawyer :

Yes, he has several options. Does she have a job? Does she own any property?

texlawyer :

Do you know if she has any assets, such as a bank account?

Customer:

She divorced her second husband. He is currently in prison for tax fraud. I believe he signed over his portion of their condominium to her. There is a homestead document on the books in Clark County Nevada for this property. The "property" that she does have is her portion of his Air Force retirement pay. My husband

Customer:

hit the return to soon, sorry

Customer:

My husband's understanding is that the Air Force considers this her retirement and won't allow him to touch it.

texlawyer :

OK. So, she does not have a job or any property, other than her now incarcerated husband's Air Force pension. Is that correct?

Customer:

The Air Force pension is from her first husband (my husband). She doesn't have a job. She worked for a short period of time as a flight attendent in the 1990's. The pension may or may not be her only income.

texlawyer :

Do you happen to know how much the home is worth?

Customer:

I don't know.

texlawyer :

OK. Got it.

texlawyer :

Do you know if she has any bank accounts?

Customer:

I know this is a stretch, but he sent her checks via the postal service. Couldn't this be considered mail fraud?

texlawyer :

This may be a silly question based on what you've said, but her home is worth less than $550,000, correct?

Customer:

yes

texlawyer :

Was she actively lying to him about being married, or just not telling him that she was?

Customer:

She lied by omission. He discovered that she was married on the internet.

texlawyer :

Under federal criminal law, it is very difficult to make a fraud case out of an omission. I know it is a silly distinction, but failure to act is rarely pursued as a crime.

Customer:

If I remember correctly, the judgment states that she committed fraud.

texlawyer :

That may be true, but fraud in a civil case and fraud in a criminal case are different. You can contact the US Attorney's office in your area (http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae/), but it may be difficult to get them to take it as a case. As far as your husband's chances of getting his money back, so far things don't sound very promising. The basic premise here is that one can't draw blood from a stone. From what you are telling me, she has very little, if any income and no real property.

Customer:

I was afraid of that -- thanks for your help.

texlawyer :

As such, there doesn't seem to be a big pool of money to get to.

texlawyer :

One thing he can do is put a lien on her home.

texlawyer :

That way, when she does eventually sell it, he will get first dibs on the proceeds of the sale (after the bank, if she still has a mortgage).

Customer:

okay, that's something we can try

texlawyer :

Also, just because he can't collect now, that does not mean that he won't be able to in the future. It is important that he keeps tabs on her and her financial situation (insofar as he is able).

Customer:

good advise -- I'll let him know.

texlawyer :

Also, he could consider hiring a professional debt collector. They will pursue her in exchange for a percentage of what they are able to recover.

Customer:

he may have tried that -- it's been a few years with some significant health issues in the interim, so I'll have to ask him about that

texlawyer :

Outside of those tips, he may just have to be patient and accept that he may never get all, or, in some cases, any of his money. Unfortunately, often times, judgments just sit empty.

Customer:

okay, I appreciate your help

texlawyer :

I know it is frustrating and unfair, but there is sometimes little that can be done. If a person doesn't have any money, it is what it is.

texlawyer :

Is there anything else I can do for you?

Customer:

that was it -- thanks again

texlawyer :

Glad to help. I wish I had a better answer for you.

Customer:

Me too!

texlawyer :

If there isn't anything else I can do for you, please remember to "rate" my answer. Good luck!

Customer:

Will do

texlawyer :

Also, if you have any questions in the future, you can direct them to me by including "this question is for TexLawyer" in the title. Have a great evening.

Customer:

ok thanks

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