Obtaining Legal Counsel

What the lawyer said they’d look for was one
or a combination of the following conditions:

minority at age of marriage, unauthorized
solemnizing officer, bigamy or polygamy

at time of union; mistaken identity, proof
of incest via collateral blood or adoptive

parent-child relationship. As for the church:
absence of free and full consent, proof

that one or the other party did not have
maturity to understand the full extent

of the undertaking; proof that there was
never the intent to be faithful, or that one

or both did not plan on being open to the grace
of children. In both types of proceedings, the one

common thing that stood out as best possible defense
was “psychological incapacity”— I wondered

who would take the hit. The lawyer set me up
to meet with a court-appointed psychologist,

and indicated his own fees would range from thirty
to fifty thousand at minimum, depending on the speed

of the process. If the other party did not show up
at all, it might take six months to a year; if he did

and produced witnesses, or if there were other issues
involving custody and property, it would be more expensive

and of course, the trial might run longer. Sitting
in his office I felt unbidden tears well up.

I should have heeded the warning bells: he stopped
and brusquely asked why in the world I was crying.

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