A man in Texas says he shouldn’t have to pay spousal support because his marriage was never valid. Why? He says his wife was already married, reports say.
Mark Athans, 56, says that when he married Charity Parchem, 42, in South Dakota in 2017 he didn’t know she was already married, The Courier reported.
Court records suggest Parchem was married three times before her months-long marriage to Athans but only show one divorce, KTRK reported.
She was indicted on felony bigamy charges in Feb. 2019, court records show.
Tuesday, Montgomery County Judge Patrice McDonald ordered Athans to pay $96,000 in spousal support and lawyer fees or face jail time, KPRC reported. The judge would not allow the bigamy charge to be considered during divorce proceedings, according to the outlet.
“Why? What did I do wrong? I tried my best to do for somebody that I fell in love with that I thought had good intentions. She didn’t,” Athans said, according to KTRK.
McDonald’s office would not comment on the case as it’s ongoing, the news outlet reported.
According to court records, Athans met Parchem, who said she was divorced, online in 2016, The Courier reported.
Athans’ next court date is set for Sept. 25, but he believes there’s a better way forward.
“There is an easy solution to this problem. Charity, show your divorce records,” he said, according to the Courier.