November 17, 2008 by 8junebugs
Ms. Martinez’s lawyer: Ms. Martinez, when you married Mr. Probably-Also-Martinez, were you aware that he was already married and had a wife residing in Bolivia?
Ms. Martinez: No.
Ms. Martinez’s lawyer: To your knowledge, has the man you married divorced his other wife?
Ms. Martinez: No.
Ms. Martinez’s lawyer: Your honor, Ms. Martinez is petitioning the court for an annulment. Because her husband was already legally married when he married her, the Virginia statute indicates that their marriage is null and void.
Mr. Probably-Also-Martinez: She knew I was already married, but she was pressuring me to get married. And here is my divorce decree from 2004, which I sent to her, too.
Nice Lady Judge: But you married Ms. Martinez in 2001, is that correct?
Mr. PAM: Yes. But she’s saying she didn’t know I was married and she did.
Nice Lady Judge: Sir, it doesn’t matter if she knew or not. Because you were already married, your marriage to her is null and void. Ms. Martinez, I will sign the annulment decree and the order to restore your maiden name.
A lawyer and two persons of Asian descent stand before the judge. The lawyer begins questioning the Asian woman — she clearly does not understand English, but the Asian man translates for her. The judge determines that the Asian man is, in fact, her husband. What is unclear is which of them is seeking the divorce and why the attorney thought it would be acceptable to have one party to the action translate for the other party to the action.
Jack McCoy would totally object. Shotgun, who graciously came along to act as my witness, grabs the bench seat beneath her — knowing her as I do, I am confident it is to restrain herself from becoming a Tower of RAGE on the woman’s behalf and being found in contempt of court.
The judge determines that the attorney had not actually spoken to his client before the hearing. He wiggles admirably — “An associate in my office has handled all previous communications with my client, Your Honor.” — but I think, when the judge says “I’m going to pass this case until you resolve the translation issue,” she really means “Bitch, please.”
Comparatively, my experience was quick and uneventful. I represented myself, so the judge questioned me, then Shotgun, under oath, then signed the decree and the order to restore my maiden name. As I have said about my marriage and the divorce, neither were easy or fun…but it could have been a lot worse. Mike’s not a bad man any more than I am a bad woman — no one cheated or, for example, married someone else behind the other’s back — we just weren’t good for each other, and that made it hard to be good to each other.
It is a relief to have completed the legal end of this. I hope both of us are able to move forward and learn from the mistakes we made, to live well and happily.