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

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married for 5 years and...
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: 4 years ago.Category: Legal
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7/17/2013
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 4 years ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102,938
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hello friend. My name is Ely, and 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 1902892, 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.)
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Customer reply replied 4 years 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?

Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 4 years 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.)
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Customer reply replied 4 years 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.

Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 4 years ago
R,

Is your business incorporated, or not?
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Customer reply replied 4 years 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.

Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 4 years 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.
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Lawyer: Joycelaw, Attorney replied 1 year ago
Joycelaw
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