Judge: NYPD officer from Seaford must pay up in divorce case
An NYPD detective who says he did not know he was still married to his first wife when he married a second woman and had two children with her has been ordered to pay more than $400 a month to the first woman while their divorce is pending, a Nassau judge has ruled.
The detective, of Seaford, was identified in court records only as "R.D." because matrimonial records are not public. His attorney, Flora Ranier, of Glendale, Queens, could not be reached for comment.
His first wife, from whom he is still seeking a divorce 12 years after their 2001 marriage, is identified as "M.C."
"It is regrettable that it has come to this, because every effort was made to settle this matter fairly, where the privacy of the parties could have been maintained," said the first wife's lawyer, H. Michael Stern, of Garden City.
According to a decision released Friday by Nassau Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Goodstein, the case is "rife with inconsistencies, misrepresentations and gaping holes in the facts, which cause the court to question the credibility of both parties."
Court papers state the couple married after a whirlwind romance marked by a gulf between them in both age (he was 45, she 20) and language (she spoke only Spanish, he English).
According to court papers, the husband claims that the marriage ended after just two months, when he came home to their apartment to find his wife and all their furniture gone.
The wife maintains that it was the husband who moved out. But she says he later moved into her Bronx apartment for about four months, and after that, they continued to speak every day by phone and meet for lunch frequently -- so much so that despite their unorthodox living arrangement, she considered them married for the next eight years.
The husband started a divorce action in 2003, and said he assumed it had gone through when he married another woman the next year and had two children with her.
According to court papers, his second marriage was null, and it's not clear whether he ever got a second marriage license anyway.
The first wife says she found out about her husband's new family in 2009, when he renewed the divorce action and she was put on his health insurance as part of a temporary agreement while the divorce is pending. The first time she tried to use the insurance card at her dentist's office, she was told that her husband already had a different wife, and two children, on the plan.
M.C., who had a child when the two married in 2001, had a second child in 2004. Court papers said she has made no attempt to show that R.D. is the second child's father.
In his decision, Goodstein said R.D. must pay $336 a month, plus an additional $100 retroactively while the divorce is pending. He must also pay her attorney's fees up to $10,000, the decision said.