Texas Recognition Of A Haitian Divorce
TEXAS — A Texas court would not be bound to declare a Haitian divorce valid. Texas divorce law requires residency for a set time in the divorce granting state. The residency requirement was not met in this case. Therefore, the strong possibility that the Haitian divorce would not be enforced by a Texas court constitutes sufficient evidence to rebut the presumption of a valid subsequent marriage.
In Conclusion: the law and facts in this case indicate that a Texas court would not be required to uphold the validity of this Haitian divorce. Additionally, there is sufficient evidence demonstrating that the marriage between L. J. and Ruth B was not legally dissolved to rebut the presumption that the later marriage between L. J. B and Eva G was valid. Further, we feel that estoppel would not apply in this case.
1/ An ex parte decree is one that is granted for the benefit of one party only, and without notice to, or contestation by, any person adversely interested.
2/ For example, Ruth cannot be estopped for failure to challenge the divorce for a long period of time because she had no notice of the divorce.
Based on these conclusions, we feel that consideration should be given to Ruth B possible entitlement to Social Security benefits as the legal wife rather than the divorced wife of L. J.