My divorce story is very unusual and almost from a cheap horror category. I have been married for 16 years, for the past 13 years living in Texas in Tarrant County. During this time, I have been supported by my husband, although in 1993, I acquired some shares in a computer company run by my brother in Poland. From time to time, I have traveled to Poland to visit my parents, my brother, his family, and to see how the business was doing. My husband did not object to such activities; on the contrary, he has encouraged them. So when my brother asked me to oversee the business for a while, my husband was all for it. He provided me with an airline ticket, advising me to take as much time as I need to help my brother.
My husband and I were in touch through the phone and E-mails for several months, and nothing indicated what he had planned. One day the letter has arrived at my parents’ apartment from the Texas Court. It was a Final Decree of Divorce. From it, I found out I have been divorced, and he has been awarded the house which we have bought together and almost everything we owned. I have been awarded the business in Poland( apparently he has lied to the court, making it believe I have been making a fortune ), which has not generated for me any income. I have been awarded a rental place! ( another lie, to make the court believe I owned the place of business)
in which my brother has been running the business and my personal belongings. The credit cards have been canceled. I have been left homeless and penniless, overnight, and in a foreign country. I went for my trip with one suitcase, all of my papers such as social security number and everything else of importance has been left in the house, my valuable jewelry, pieces of art, etc.. How was it possible for him to get a divorce, without my participation in the proceedings, how did he convince the court of not awarding me anything of value after such a long marriage? It has been almost two years after the divorce. I have been in deep depression just coming out of it, still staying in Poland, asking for advice, what should I do? He has cut any contact with me. I cannot even reclaim my personal belongings. Please do advise me what my legal options are. Could you recommend an attorney who could take the case against my liar husband ( or against the State of Texas) on the contingency fee basis?
Why have you waited for two years to realize something was wrong with the divorce? For him to have gotten the divorce, he had to serve you with a summons and complaint or provide a sworn affidavit to the court that he tried to locate you and was unable to do so. If you wish to correct this matter, you must hire an attorney in Texas, experienced in matrimonial matters in your jurisdiction in which this case took place, and have the entire case reopened based on the fact that you were never properly served and were unaware of the proceedings, even though you husband knew exactly where to find you.
Any property that belongs to you personally that was not marital property, which means property that was not earned during the course of the marriage belongs to you, and you have every right to claim it. You also have a partial claim to all marital property.
If you do not have funds to hire an attorney, call the local Bar Association in your jurisdiction in Texas and see if they can provide you with some pro bono assistance.
Leonard M.Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions