Annulment Case of Alan Grayson
The world of politics is full of intrigue. The marriages of politicians running for office are much like those of celebrities – whatever can make it into the public eye usually will, no matter how messy. Alan Grayson is no exception. A Democratic congressman from Florida, Grayson is well known for being outspoken and very active in the legislature. According to Politico, he introduced the most bills in the House of Representatives in 2014.
Last year, attention turned to the politician when he became involved in a messy and contentious divorce from his wife of 24 years. His ex-wife Lolita Grayson, whom the congressman accused of bigamy and being a “gold digger,” has been public in her response. She accused the congressman of forcing herself and their children to live in a home with a leaky roof, broken windows, and a mold problem. She also accused Grayson of leaving her with no financial support after cutting off her credit cards and alleged that he maintained strict control of the couple’s finances during their 24-year marriage.
Grayson was seeking an annulment rather than a divorce. He alleged that his wife had been married at the time of their marriage in 1990. According to law, this would invalidate his marriage to her. Most importantly, when it came to asset division, the court would see the decision as though they were never married. The bitter battle stretched over a year before a judge finally decided that the marriage would be annulled. Circuit Court Judge Bob LeBlanc ruled that Lolita Grayson had been married to another individual at the time of her marriage to Alan Grayson.
As if the divorce controversy were not enough, Grayson also has difficulties keeping his love life out of the public eye. In a strange turn of events, Grayson married the woman seeking to replace him in congress over Memorial Day weekend.
Grayson, who is making the bid to transition from the House to the Senate, will vacate his seat in Congress. Seeking to replace him is Dena Minning, who is running against numerous other democrats in the election.
Instead of an announcement of the engagement or headline news, the couple announced their nuptials the new-school way. Dena Minning changed her name on Twitter to Dena Grayson and on her Facebook page, along with a link to her “handsome, brilliant, and amazing” husband’s Senate account.
Conversely, there was no similar announcement on Grayson’s webpage. However, the marriage does give Dena Grayson the support of her new husband in her bid to find a seat in the U.S. House. Her strongest opponent is Grayson’s former aide Susannah Randolph.
Annulments are rare. They only happen when circumstances are revealed that would make a marriage illegal in the first place. An annulment declares that the marriage never existed. Florida does not have specific annulment law, but there is case precedent that can be used to declare one. It is highly unusual for one to be granted. Reasons for annulment include:
- Incest marriages
- Underage marriages where both partners were underage at the time of the marriage
- Marriages where one partner is unable to consent (e.g. mental incapacitation)
These reasons automatically make a marriage void, but there are others that raise the possibility of annulment. For more information about the possible grounds for annulling a marriage, contact our offices.