Talk about a short honeymoon — a Nova Scotia woman got a rude awakening just a week after her 2001 wedding, when she found out the man she’d just married already had a wife.
Now, Nova Scotia Supreme Court has ruled Tara Naomi Guptill can keep most of their joint assets because Romiel Wilfred, the man she fell for during a St. Lucia vacation, married her in bad faith.
The sad tale was spelled out in a written court decision, released yesterday.
The couple wed in Kentville Sept. 29, 2001, then went back to St. Lucia to start a clothing business.
The week after, their housekeeper asked Guptill if she knew her husband had been married before.
Wilfred first told Guptill he thought his first wife, Jasmine Daniel, had divorced him years before. Later, he said she’d died.
He never produced divorce papers or a death certificate, and said he had never been married in the application for their marriage licence.
The bride’s friend suggested he had hidden from Daniel one night at a bar when they were out without Guptill.
Wilfred denied that, and said he believed he’d signed divorce papers and was free to marry Guptill.
Justice Gregory Warner didn’t buy his story, and declared the marriage void.
“A commitment to marry is a commitment to enter a relationship based on trust,” Warner said in his decision.
“The husband’s evidence is not corroborated in any respect.”