Appealing Divorce Decree If Ex-Wife Hid Information

St. Louis divorce lawyerQuestion:

Can I appeal parts of our divorce decree if it is later revealed my ex-wife was hiding information during our divorce?

She gave birth to a child that was not mine in 2005 only a few months after our divorce. She hid the fact that she was pregnant during our divorce proceedings.

If I had known of her infidelity and the fact she was pregnant with another man’s child while we were married I never would have agreed to many of the settlements we reached in our divorce judgment.

Please advise if there are any actions I can take against her for concealing information and essentially lying throughout our divorce proceedings.

Answer:

I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can only give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Missouri divorce laws where I am temporarily permitted to practice.

To answer your question, I can certainly understand your level of frustration given the situation that you have described. However, there are several reasons why you may not be able to pursue a case against your former wife.

First, your dissolution for marriage becomes final after 30 days unless you file an appeal.

Since you did not appeal your judgment within that timeframe, your case appears to be time-barred.

Moreover, where I practice the law provides that you have 10 years to discover a fraud, and from the date of discovery, 5 years to bring forth your case. Since you discovered that she was pregnant in 2005, you would have had to file a fraud claim against her by no later than 2010.

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Keep in mind that the standard for proving fraud is extremely strict. As such, your fraud claim may be weak due to the fact that she could allege that she did not know she was pregnant during the time when you were married, including during the divorce proceeding, and also, the child could still very well be yours.

Only a DNA test can establish the paternity of a child.

Additionally, any child conceived during a marriage may be considered to be the child of the marriage without proof to the contrary (i.e., via a DNA test). Again, if you had immediately sought a DNA test when the child was born and if it had shown that the child was not yours, you would have had a stronger fraud case that was also not time-barred.

Regardless of the foregoing, I would still talk to an attorney in order to further discuss the details of your case. Again, since I am not aware of all of the facts of your case, I cannot render any specific legal advice on divorce.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Jennifer de Lyon Stralka, a St. Louis divorce lawyer, contact Cordell & Cordell Law Firm.

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One comment on “Appealing Divorce Decree If Ex-Wife Hid Information

    My husband and I found out that his ex wife filed for a divorce when we were living out of state, now at this time we had their son and her daughter with us for the summer in Florida. While we had the kids is when she filed and told the courts she had no clue where he was or a phone number for him, so she had to post it in local news papers, when my husband called his ex wife to figure out a date to bring the kids back, she gave him one and it was the day after divorce court, well needles to say she got full custody of their son, and judge ordered no child support but child support reinforcement order for him to pay 325.00 a month for his son, and he got every other weekend visitation. Now we have called the cops 3 times because if she gets mad or upset at him for any reason she holds their son from him, the police will not help him because they say there isn’t a start date for his visits. What can we Do?

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