Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, November 23, 2012

Wife Learns Husband Divorced Her Eight Years Before His Death

DivorceA woman from New York, Vivian Pitt Dowers, learned after the death of her husband, David Dowers, that he unilaterally filed for divorced eight years before his death. The move would ensure that his wife could not receive money from his pension or life insurance payout. Vivian had no idea that David had filed for divorce. She maintained that they lived happily together until his death. She only learned that he had filed for divorce after looking through his belongings. This is when she discovered that he filed for divorce in 2002. In the divorce papers, David filed for an "uncontested" split claiming that Vivian abandoned him over their mutual financial problems. He further claimed that she moved to Canarsie following thier split. He claimed that he had properly served her with the divorce papers at an address in Canarsie. In response to this discovery, Vivian obtained a lawyer fought the divorce. A court ruled that the divorce was fraudulent over the protests of David's children from a previous marriage. 

If the court would have ruled the divorce legal, then the children would have inherited everything from their father's estate, including his life insurance policy and pension money. 

See New York Woman Reportedly Learns Husband Divorced Her Eight Years Before His Death, FoxNews.com, Nov. 19, 2012.


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