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LawHelpNow, Attorney/Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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married 17 years in indiana. going through a divorce and just

Customer Question

married 17 years in indiana. going through a divorce and just found out my wife was actually previously married and divorced prior to our marriage.

can void ab initio be used as a vehicle to saying our marriage was under false pretenses or something to that effect/
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 5 years ago.

Hello and thanks for choosing Just Answer®.

I am a licensed attorney and will be glad to try and assist you. To provide you with accurate information, could you please clarify this point:

  1. Is there a reason for wanting to push the issue, such as seeking an annulment? [All I am getting at here is any objective you might be trying to accomplish by raising such grounds rather than just going for a standard "no fault" proceeding.]


Once I hear back from you, I will be glad to let you know my answer. There may be some delay as I am assisting other customers or am away from my computer. Please rest assured, however, that I will get back to you as soon as possible. Due to the late hour, this may be tomorrow (Tuesday) if I have to sign off for the night before hearing back from you. However, I will not forget about you and will be back in touch with you then.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am in mediation at 830 am tomorrow morning and I wanted to know if this can be used or has been used as something to possibly allow me to walk away from this.


going through this for 15 months and am sick of it . every offer i make is disregarded and she is using decietful tactics such as protective orders with lies. i havent been heard for over 3 months cuz her lawyer keeps continuing etc.. i pay 6000 per month in child support and maintenance from initial hearing.. asked for modification and continued 2wice more etc...


Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 5 years ago.
Thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.


  1. I am a licensed attorney with family law litigation and mediation experience. I will be glad to try and answer your question. I hope that the following information will be helpful to you, but please just write back if you have any follow-up questions or need clarification after reviewing the following information.
  2. Thank you for taking the time to write back and supply the additional information as requested, which was helpful to my analysis of your inquiry. Please allow me to say I am sorry for your circumstances and hope this ordeal is soon resolved. Accordingly, I shall be honest and straightforward rather than pulling any punches.
  3. "can void ab initio be used as a vehicle to saying our marriage was under false pretenses or something to that effect" No, this would not be a helpful argument in your circumstances. Here is what I mean by that statement. You obviously have a keen grasp of the issues and astutely raised the issue of a marriage void ab initio. Indiana law has indeed declared some marital unions to automatically fall under this category (i.e. same-sex unions and underage minors). Indiana Code §§ 20-1-15 and 20-1-100. Also, the law does provide a mechanism for having a marriage declared invalid in certain cases prior to consumption of the marital union (obviously not applicable here). Indiana Code § 20-1-530. While I can certainly understand your frustration, looking to the case law, this argument is simply not going to fly. There is an expressed public policy involved in upholding the legitimacy of marriages. Certainly, bigamy and so forth would be another matter entirely. However, the bottom line is that your spouse having been previously married and divorced prior to your life together will simply suffice to make out a proper case of marriage void ab initio. I wish that was not the case, but this is the truthful state of things based on the currently existing law.
  4. I hope that makes sense, but please do not hesitate to write back if needed. I shall be signing off soon to attend to some other professional obligations. Please rest assured, however, that I will be sure to check for any updated posts from you when I return to this online forum.


I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of any further assistance please free to use our service again. Best wishes for a successful outcome.


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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

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