Aesop presents: The jerk and his wife

Mussa v. Palmer Mussa (NC Supreme Court decision August 24, 2012) 


Juma and Nikki are married for 12 years. They divorce. The Court Orders that Juma pay Nikki some money. Juma is unhappy with this. All of a sudden he recalls that he had sort of married someone else many years ago, so his marriage to Nikki is void, saving him from paying her money. Unfortunately for Juma, his marriage was performed by an uncredentialed charlatan who has long since disappeared. If that marriage isn’t valid, then he can’t challenge the second marriage.

The moral: If you’re enough of a jerk, you can delay having to pay your ex-wife for quite a bit of time.

The legal message is a bit less obvious. If Juma had been legitimately married before, then he would have a valid claim that his second marriage was void because it was a bigamous marriage. There are people who claim that the sanctity of marriage is threatened by the people with similar genitals who love each other. People like Juma and laws that support his position cause more damage to the “sanctity” of marriage than could any state-sanctioned union loving partners of any sex.  It, then, becomes obvious that those people who oppose an expansion of marriage don’t care about cases like Juma’s. They only care that society conforms to what is comfortable to them. A society that ensures that people who love each other stay apart and people like Juma are free to marry who they wish.