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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer
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I was married years. Currently in middle of divorce. I found

Customer Question

I was married for 5 years. Currently in middle of divorce. I found out my wife concealed a marriage from me. I wanted children but she could not have them. Now I feel she has stolen 5 years from me and the reasonable chance for kids. I would not have married her without doing a background check if I had know I was #3. Do I have a civil case in MA?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Concealing the fact that your wife was unable to have children may be grounds for an annulment rather than a divorce, since your consent to the marriage was obtained without all the key facts. You cannot seek an annulment on that basis if you've engaged in intercourse since you found out (because then you're considered to have forgiven her).

With that said, there's unfortunately no cause of action against your wife in this situation, other than divorce or annulment. There's just no way to prove damages, because it's all speculative. There's no way to know that you would've met someone else you wanted to spend your life with, or that you would've had kids with someone else, or to put a value on the joy of having kids, or anything like that. So you unfortunately cannot sue her directly for the lie. The judge will equitably divide the assets in a way that he believes to be fair, and you can use her deception to ask for a larger amount of the assets than what she is getting.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Lucy....she did not conceal the inability to bear children. We found that out after we were married for 2 months via fertility clinic. She concealed a previous marriage from me. I would not have entered into this marriage had I known.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for clarifying.

That's equally difficult to prove damages for, for the same reasons, and there is unfortunately no cause of action that applies to this type of situation. All asset division has to go through the divorce court judge. It could be more difficult to get an annulment, too, because you have to prove how important it was to you that your spouse not be married previously - or, since you said that you're #3, then that she not be married twice. Considering how common marriage and divorce are in our society, you'd have to establish both that this was something particularly concerning to you AND that your wife knew you wouldn't have married her if she mentioned the undisclosed marriage.

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