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Death and DivorceWe have all heard the horror stories that sometime accompany the divorce process. Bickering, revenge, and downright hatred can sometimes be found where once there was proclaimed love. Just when we think we have heard it all, another tale surfaces from the abyss of the never ending stream of crazy divorce stories.

A Secret 8 Years in the Making

This story comes from New York and is a puzzling tale of death and divorce. An elderly New York woman was reportedly still mourning her longtime husband’s death when she learned he had secretly filed for a divorce eight years earlier to cut her out of his pension money and a $44,000 life insurance payout.

The New York Post reported two days ago that Vivian Pitt Dowers, 75, of Brooklyn had been married to a longtime Columbia University janitor,David Dowers, 65 (at time of death), for more than 30 years when he died of natural causes in their home during February 2011. Vivian Dowers was going through her late husband’s possessions when she found divorce papers dated from 2002 that claimed she had “abandoned” her husband and that she apparently had been divorced since that time.

Passing on the Estate

The couple, who had no children, lived together up until David Dowers’ death and were happy, or so Vivian thought. Apparently, her longtime husband had secretly attempted to get an “uncontested” split in 2002, claiming his wife left him over their financial problems. He said in court documents that she moved to Canarsie, which is a local neighborhood in Brooklyn, and had been served with divorce papers. After David’s death, Vivian got a lawyer and proved that the Canarsie address she had supposedly moved to didn’t exist and that the process papers were forged.

Vivian and her lawyer sought to throw out the divorce over the opposition of David’s children from an earlier relationship. The children, born before Vivian and David were married, stood to inherit their dad’s estate if he was unmarried at the time of death. A judge has since ruled the divorce fraudulent last month and Vivian received David’s life insurance payment and is now in line to get his pension money, the newspaper reports.

The interesting thing is we will never know the true motive behind David’s actions, and why he didn’t say anything to his wife, and also, what feelings or contempt he held for her those last 8 years. Divorce creates some crazy scenarios, whether it’s a dragged out process through the courts or a quick and easy online divorce, the residual repercussions can stretch on long after the actual proceedings have been finalized.

2 thoughts on “A Surprise from Beyond the Grave: Death and Divorce

  1. Karen Henry

    I am currently going through something very similar to this case. Is there any way I can find out additional information? Like who would the defendant be in this case? Many lawyers I have gotten advice from, I guess are not aware of this case, because the information I get is not helpful. This case has given me great hope.

    1. Brixton

      Thank you for your comment, Karen. Although we cannot provide legal advice, you are welcome to give us a call. We will do our best to assist you in any way we can. Toll Free: 1-800-604-2860


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