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Texan faces charges over divorce fraud

A 51-year-old Texan apparently thought he'd found a convenient way to get a no-hassle divorce -- one that didn't require him to discuss the issue with his wife. To that end, he quietly forged his wife's signature on some forms for the court and lied under oath.

Then, his wife found out. After a bitter argument with his wife over some extravagant purchases he had made, the man informed her that they were no longer married. When she looked into the issue and found the divorce papers with her forged signature, she called the police with a complaint. The divorce was voided, and the husband in this case now faces up to a decade in prison for aggravated perjury.

This is, by all accounts, a rare sort of event. As a Harris County constable said, "In this particular case, the gentleman decided to go through a divorce but the only problem is, he left his wife out of the process." As uncomfortable as it may be to have this particular conversation with your spouse, it's a step that can't be skipped.

To help yourself through the process, here are some tips you can use if you're ready to tell your spouse the marriage is over:

  1. Let your spouse know you're unhappy. Don't keep up the facade that everything is okay when it isn't. That could leave your spouse blindsided and emotionally unprepared for the idea that the marriage isn't thriving.
  2. Be direct. When it comes time to make the announcement, it may be painful to announce your attentions so clearly, but it's kinder than leaving false hope that the marriage can be saved.
  3. Be sensible. If you're afraid of your spouse's reaction, make the announcement quietly in a public place, like a coffee shop or a restaurant where your spouse may work harder to keep his or her emotions in check.

Finally, don't skip any of the steps required for your divorce -- if the process seems overwhelming, an attorney can help.

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