Man Secretly Divorced His Wife, Then Stayed With Her For 20 Years

Cristina Carta Villa, 59, had no idea she had been divorced for two decades until she looked at a tax bill. According to the New York Post, she recently discovered that her husband had filed for divorce in the Dominican Republic months after their wedding, then stayed with her for 20 years.

The reason is allegedly financial. Cristina is suing Gabriel Villa, 90, to nullify the so-called divorce she says was to protect his money and assets from her. According to the lawsuit, Gabriel secretly hired lawyers to represent each spouse in a court in the Dominican Republic, even though neither of them lived there. She says she has no recollection of ever giving consent to this process, and that it’s against that country’s law since neither spouse showed up and the decision wasn’t published in a newspaper.

The couple was together for 20 years after their “divorce,” had a son, and traveled the world. Gabriel made Cristina his health-care proxy and power of attorney. But that tax bill didn’t list her name as a spouse, and a lawyer she hired discovered that they weren’t actually married anymore. Cristina hopes the lawsuit can prevent Gabriel from selling their home to his daughter.

Credit: Cosmopolitan

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