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Grandfather narrowly avoids jail for bigamy

Family Law | 30 Aug 2013 0

Stephen Kershaw was “under the illusion” his second wife Amanda Volpi had filed for divorce while he was living in South Africa and Argentina, following the breakdown of their marriage, Kent Online reported from Canterbury Crown Court.

He married his second wife in 1992 and separated 18 months later. After returning to the UK he met Tracy De Gietelink in 2005 and married for the third time in 2009.

At the time of the third marriage, Mr Kershaw handed over a document relating to the divorce from his first wife to proceed with the nuptials, but nothing relating to his second marriage. Mr Kershaw thought that his second wife had “done divorce proceedings and remarried,” his lawyer told the court.

When the lorry driver subsequently relocated to London, following his separation from his third wife, he learned that his second wife was still using his surname.

He went to Wandsworth police station to seek advice, and was advised to start divorce proceedings. Stephen Kershaw received the decree absolute for his second marriage in April this year.

The court heard how the news of the bigamy had had a great emotional impact on Stephen Kershaw’s third wife, Ms De Gietelink .

The judge, recorder Paul Cook, said: “This matter clearly caused Tracy De Gietelink considerable distress when she discovered that special day for her was not so special for you, as you were already married.”

Stephen Kershaw was handed a three-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay £200 towards costs.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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