For the past six years, Jaclyn Davis-Williams has wanted to ditch her hyphenated name and leave her troubled marriage behind. But she's still linked to the man she once loved. Why has breaking up been so hard to do? Davis-Williams was married to a bigamist.
"I thought he was the one," said Davis-Williams, now 35. Turns out that Williams, now 37, was the one and only to more than one woman at the same time. Though he stated on the marriage license that he was divorced, and though he said he signed a separation agreement, he was still married to his first wife, from Buffalo, when he wed Davis-Williams.
She got suspicious when her friends raised concerns about Williams. Davis-Williams contacted the woman her husband said he had divorced and learned the truth: They were still legally husband and wife. "I didn't want to believe it," Davis-Williams said. "He's a great manipulator."
I covered the case for the Erie Times-News and talked to Davis-Williams. I wished her luck and told her to call me if anything came up again. Davis-Williams telephoned the other day. We laughed over her case -- she has a great sense of humor about it -- but she was serious when she told me why she needed to talk, all these years later.
Representing herself, Davis-Williams filed for divorce in January in Erie County Court. The case halted after the courts refused to waive the $199 filing fee for Davis-Williams, a nurse's aide who said she could not afford the costs. Williams, last known to live in Pittsburgh, still owes Davis-Williams $486 in restitution, according to court records. Davis-Williams has not given up. She has contacted another lawyer to get a divorce or an annulment.
Her advice to brides-to-be: "Background checks."
By Ed Palattella of GoErie.com