How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Ely Your Own Question

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 85236
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

i recently divorced in november of 2012 in Florida. We were

Customer Question

i recently divorced in november of 2012 in Florida. We were married for 5 years and together for almost 10 years. I am a sole proprieter of a business that my wife helped me in. on the divorce contract (that we agreed/wrote up together) states that I have to close my business when I receive an amount of $20,000 from my ex. I agreed at the time because I was hoping to reconcile the marriage, knowing that the business is my only source of income and is in debt at about $50,000 (this includes me not filing filing tax returns since 2007).

The issue now is that I know the marriage is irreconcilable, (please excuse my spelling), and I want to keep my business without her involved.

Here is the catch.. My ex is a European national, still has no legal status to work or own property here in the States, therefore I gather she is an illegal immigrant. We never had the financial assets to get a green card al those years since we both have children and financial responsibilities from prior marriages with children (we have no children together). The business I have is small retail land has never generated a relevent income but in these economic times I have no other alternative but to keep practicing. Since she helped me with the business she considers it "hers." I now feel since she was an illegal immigrant, the divorce contract was fraudulant at the time it was drawn up by her lawyer.

please help, I don't know what to do next!
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 9 months ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXX, XXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and I am afraid that this is one of such times.

I now feel since she was an illegal immigrant, the divorce contract was fraudulant at the time it was drawn up by her lawyer.

Regardless of the business issue, we focus on the presumption at hand that her being an illegal immigrant invalidates the divorce in some way. I am afraid that this is not true. Even illegal immigrants have the right to access civil courts, including family court. Olupo v.. Olupo, No. C8-02-109, 2002 WL XXXXXXX, at *1 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug. 20, 2002). This has been determined in every state and by the federal court.

Ergo, her being an illegal immigrant (commonly known as out of status) is not an issue when it comes to the divorce, unless there is a custody battle. Aside from that, her immigration standing does not prevent her from accessing the Court, or signing any documents, entering into agreements, and/or representing herself or being represented, I am afraid.

As such, the divorce contract was not fraudulent - at least not on those grounds.

However, if you feel she defrauded you in any other way, please use the REPLY button and we can explore the possibility of that being a reason to possibly reopen the divorce.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

during the course of our marriage she has made accusations of me "cheating" this lasted for 3 years and I volenteered and PASSES a lie detector test last summer but this still did not convince her. I sometimes believe her mental state is in question. this may not be relevent, but does lead to instances of her dissapearance. she left the first time back to europe (she was still on a 90 day tourist visa) stating she had to go because of a family emergency. i found out years later this was NOT true.. she left me. We did reconcile, she came back and it happened again 2 years ago. this time she stayed in the states and became involved in a business venture with a business man (who after investigation was found out to be borderlining in tax fraud). that individual promised her a green card and many other business oppertunites but later found out she was conned and nothing ever came of it. during this period I was unaware of where she was (she left without my knowledge) or what her intentions were. Can this be considered as fraud??


 


in addition, although she did help me with my business, i obtained an EIN and sole proprietership BEFORE we were legally married. Does this hold any relevence?

Expert:  Ely replied 9 months ago.
My sincere apologies for the wait.

Can this be considered as fraud??

I am afraid not. The elements for actionable fraud are (1) a false statement concerning a material fact; (2) knowledge by the person making the statement that the representation is false; (3) the intent by the person making the statement that the representation will induce another to act on it; and (4) reliance on the representation to the injury of the other party. Lance v. Wade, 457 So. 2d 1008 - Fla: Supreme Court 1984. Nothing that you state shows that she defrauded you into SIGNING that agreement, I am afraid.

in addition, although she did help me with my business, i obtained an EIN and sole proprietership BEFORE we were legally married. Does this hold any relevence?

Also, no.

Gentle Reminder: Again, surely you prefer that I be honest in my answer – please remember that rating negatively due to receiving bad news still hurts the expert – it is simply the way that the system is set up. Please use REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. (You may always ask follow ups free after rating.)
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

ok, understood.. only a few more things. I agreed to divorce her because she said her chances for getting a green card were better if she were divorced. We made a deal between the 2 of us.. she would pay me the $20k as per the contract and I would invest it back into the business and she would create an LLC making me a 50% owner. In an sence, the entire divorce was a sham. We continued living together and having sexual relations the entire time up until 2 weeks ago. Now she has an issue where she CAN NOT get a green card without being married. So she wanted to get married again and I refused because I do not believe what she tells me about the situation any longer.. hence our "falling out" 2 weeks ago. Simply, i do not want to marry her again as this would be a fraudulaent marriage and I do not want to honor the marriage contract as it stands because of past events and found lies from her end.


 


Also, If I am forced by the court to accept the buy out, since it is a sole proprietership (the same as me).. what about current debt? It is a very high amount! is this to be "sold" with the business or since it was a sole prop. does the debt stay with me? the debts include credit cards, personal family debt and an undetermined amount of several years of not filing or paying income tax. None of the debt for the business is mentioned in the divorce contract.

Expert:  Ely replied 9 months ago.
R,

Is your business incorporated, or not?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

no, sole proprietership.. i mentioned this a few times in my replies. I would also like to mention she still lives with me and I still financially support her as she has no other outlets for money to live.

Expert:  Ely replied 9 months ago.
My apologies - I was just wanting to confirm, as this is an important fact.

Well it gets a little more complicated, for sure.

Simply, i do not want to marry her again as this would be a fraudulaent marriage and I do not want to honor the marriage contract as it stands because of past events and found lies from her end.

You do not have to. Whatever verbal agreement you had with her is not enforceable and cannot be proven by her. In any circumstance, one cannot be forced into a marriage. She agreed to divorce, and therefore, she must live with the divorce.

Also, If I am forced by the court to accept the buy out, since it is a sole proprietership (the same as me).. what about current debt? It is a very high amount! is this to be "sold" with the business or since it was a sole prop. does the debt stay with me?

If there is a debt, then the original creditor may still pursue you, although if she buys you out, you will have the possibility to seek indemnification from her for any liability. Meaning, if she buys the business, she is now responsible for it. While the original contract was with you, and any creditor who is not bound to the agreement may still pursue you, you can ask the court to have her indemnify you and pay you back for any liability you suffer from the creditor.

I would also like to mention she still lives with me and I still financially support her as she has no other outlets for money to live.

This does not change the overall answer(s), friend.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8201
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8201
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19419
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8122
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2131
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    83
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    30758
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15340
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.