Divorce: My Wife Hid Her Past From Me

Question: I thought we were the average suburban couple living in North Fulton. I'm an engineer and my wife stays home with the kids and plays tennis. But our whole life together was a lie and I need a quick divorce.

My wife got drunk the other night and admitted that she was arrested for a string of bank robberies and spent time in prison. We've been married for almost five years and I never knew that my wife was a bank robber. She said that it all happened in the 1980's when she hung out with a bad crowd and got hooked on drugs. She said that she had a boyfriend who talked her into doing crimes. They did several bank robberies throughout Georgia and they got caught. She did about seven years in prison.

I never knew about any of this. She told me that for most of the 1980's she worked in Atlanta and Marietta caring for poor people and planning to go to nursing school. I never knew she was a criminal and I certainly didn't know that she was in jail.

Occasionally we'd see old friends of hers that looked pretty “sketchy,” but I didn't think anything of it. One time a friend of hers mentioned something about prison and a gang they were in, but I thought she was just joking.

Now I want to get a divorce as quickly as possible. My wife should have told me about the robberies and the prison time. I feel taken advantage of and betrayed. I don't know if our kids are safe.

What should I do? Do you think I can get an uncontested divorce? What about child support,custody and alimony?

B.K. in Alpharetta

Answer: Other clients have told us stories of the hidden pasts of spouses. We have heard stories of former murderers, robbers, rapists, insider traders, fraudsters, drug dealers and even an alleged war criminal. To a spouse hearing about these events for the first time it can be shocking and quite painful.

A court may very well find that a fraud has been perpetrated by the failure of your wife to disclose that she was a bank robber and spent time in prison. Under Georgia law, a marriage can be annulled if there is fraud. In Georgia, annulments and divorces are essentially the same thing. And in Georgia you don't need to find grounds for a divorce. So you can likely get an annulment or a divorce.

We offer a consultation so we can go over all the relevant issues, including child support, child custody and alimony.

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