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Court Decides if Defendant Has the Right to Challenge Alabama Divorce Decree


This case is being heard in the Supreme Court of Sullivan County. The plaintiff of the case is Sonia Rosenbluth and the defendant is Herbert Rosenbluth. The plaintiff is seeking a separation based on the grounds of non support and abandonment. A New York Family Lawyer said the defendant has conceded the issue of abandonment. Abandonment without justification would indicate a decree of separation in favor of the plaintiff. The defendant argues that the abandonment was justified, stating that he left the plaintiff when it was determined that her divorce from her first husband in the state of Alabama was found to be void. The defendant is seeking an annulment of their marriage on this basis.

Case Facts

The plaintiff was married to Edward V. Langston prior to the 8th of August, 1956. Langston and the plaintiff lived in Orange County New York during their marriage. Langston was never present physically in the state of Alabama and the plaintiff was employed in Newburgh, New York during the marriage. A New York Custody Lawyer said the plaintiff took a vacation from her job to go to Alabama for the purpose of obtaining a divorce. It is clear that during the marriage the plaintiff and her former husband lived in New York and were never residents of Alabama.

The Alabama court issued a decree of divorce for the plaintiff and Edward V. Langston. Mr. Langston did not appear in court and was represented by an attorney.

The defendant and plaintiff were married on the eleventh of January, 1959. The couple lived together as husband and wife until July of 1961. It was at this time that the defendant learned that the plaintiff’s previous divorce in the state of Alabama was not considered to be valid. The defendant then left the plaintiff. It was at this time that the plaintiff commenced the action for separation.

Court Discussion and Decision

The facts of the case show that at all of the times that were provided the plaintiff was a resident in the state of New York. It is also clear that during her marriage to her first husband, both she and her prior husband were residents of the state of New York.

The question before the court is whether the defendant has the right to attack the decree of divorce that was made in the state of Alabama.

The court finds that it is no longer allowed for the court to attack a decree of divorce that was made in another state when the defendant and plaintiff have both appeared. However, in this particular case the court in Alabama granted the divorce based on false premises provided by the plaintiff. A Nassau County Family Lawyer said the plaintiff and her former husband were never residents of Alabama and for these reasons the Alabama court did not have jurisdiction over the matter of divorce.

This court finds that the decree for divorce that was made in Alabama is void based on these facts. A Nassau County Custody Lawyer said the court will grant a judgment dismissing the complaint made by the plaintiff against the defendant. The decree for separation by the plaintiff is denied. The defendant is granted the annulment of his marriage to the plaintiff.

If you need any type of legal advice regarding a separation or divorce, contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We are happy to help you through any type of legal issue that you may have. Our offices are located conveniently throughout the city of New York. You may contact us at any time to set up an appointment for a free consultation.

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