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Divorce Follows Rape Conviction

Divorce Follows Rape Conviction

In Watley v. Watley, Louis Watley appealed the court’s decision in a divorce case centered largely on witness credibility. In 1998, Louis Watley, then age 55, married a 19 year-old woman he met in the Philippines. In question was whether the young woman was advised before the marriage that Louis Watley was under indictment for rape and facing jail. After the parties were married for 2 years and had a child together, the defendant was sentenced to 10 years in prison for rape. Upon his release the plaintiff, then 35 years old, file for divorce. After evaluating the credibility of both parties, the trial judge found that the plaintiff had not been apprised of Watley’s indictment nor had the plaintiff signed any prenuptial agreement, as the defendant contested, which would bar her from acquisition of assets under the divorce judgment. The NJ Appellate Division affirmed. If you entered into marriage under fraud or duress, as long as you can prove fraud or duress existed, the court will likely take equitable action to protect your rights in addition to granting the divorce you seek. For more information about divorce, annulment, alimony, equitable distribution or other family law matters in NJ visit DarlingFirm.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.

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