Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida has been in the midst of an extraordinarily acrimonious divorce since last year, and he is reportedly preparing to make accusations of bigamy against his wife, Lolita, at trial. Though he had previously expressed his suspicions of bigamy, Grayson claims he will present these suspicions to the judge and request a legal annulment instead of a dissolution.
Specifically, Grayson claims that his wife married him in 1990 and did not legally divorce her first husband, Robert Carson, until 1994. These claims are based on divorce records discovered in Broward County, Florida for “Lolita B. Carson.” His wife claims that the divorce involved a different Lolita Carson and that she was actually divorced in Guam in 1981. Neither Grayson nor his wife have been able to locate Robert Carson to testify in the matter.
Effects of an annulment
If Lolita Grayson was actually still legally married when she wed Alan Grayson in 1990, the second marriage would be legally invalid and the court would issue an annulment. While both a divorce and an annulment serve to dissolve a marriage, an annulment treats the parties as if they had never been married in the first place. This has the following legal effects:
- No property would be considered “marital property” and equitably divided under Florida’s property division laws.
- No inheritance rights would exist based on marital status.
- Neither spouse would have claims to insurance, retirement, or similar benefits.
Annulments do have some similarities to divorces, however. For example, custody issues are treated in the same manner and children of an annulled marriage are considered legally legitimate. Additionally, a judge can award temporary alimony in some cases, especially if one spouse was a victim of fraud on the other’s part.
Rep. Grayson is likely pursuing an annulment for a few reasons. First, his worth is reportedly valued at $31 million and he would not have to divide his assets with his wife. Second, by accusing his wife of wrongdoing, he is likely hoping to draw attention away from his wife’s own accusations against him of battery, financial abandonment, and more. Overall, the Grayson divorce seems rife with bitterness, dramatic allegations, political and financial motives, and other complications. The trial has been delayed numerous times for various reasons ranging from changes of attorneys to leaking breast implants. Some of the issues have been so extraordinary that the presiding judge even likened the dramatic case to the political drama House of Cards. We will be watching whether the case actually moves forward to trial and whether Grayson’s bigamy allegations will garner an annulment.
Contact an experienced Florida family law attorney for help
If you are considering seeking a legal annulment or a divorce in Florida, you should always have the assistance of an experienced lawyer who understands all of the state laws related to dissolution of a marriage. As demonstrated by the above case, divorce cases can have many unique legal issues and complications and you should have an attorney who knows how to protect your rights in such situations. Please call the law office of Alan R. Burton in Boca Raton for a free consultation today.