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17 Years Later, Divorcee Seeks to Nullify Divorce

If you're seeking divorce advice in Pasadena, undoubtedly you've been told to act quickly and carefully so you can get on with your life. Jo-Ann DerManouelian of Rhode Island apparently never received that advice. DerManouelian is digging up her 17-year-old divorce; she's asked the court to throw out the 1994 divorce judgment. Now state officials have fired back, saying that DerManouelian's motivation for nullifying the old divorce is purely financial.

A civil complaint filed last Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Providence states Johnston resident DerManouelian only sought to have her divorce voided after officials notified the estate it owed $1.7 million in taxes and $1.1 million in penalties. DerManouelian is the administrator of her ex-husband's estate. Aram DerManouelian, founder of American Foam Corporation, died in 2006. Jo-Ann claims her ex fraudulently obtained the divorce. She contends that her husband initiated divorce proceedings in 1993 strictly because his marriage to her prohibited him from leaving real estate and pension proceeds to his son from a previous marriage. According to court records, couple had no children together.

"When Jo-Ann asked Aram why he was filing for divorce, Aram would only tell Jo-Ann that she should not fight what he was doing and that he, Aram, would pay his lawyers $2.00 for every $1.00 that his lawyers kept from her if she contested the divorce in any way,'' her attorney wrote in official court documents filed last month.

Jo-Ann and Aram, according to her attorney, lived together until the time of his death.

"On January 6, 1994, there were no irreconcilable differences between Aram and Jo-Ann, Aram and Jo-Ann were living together as husband and wife, there was no irremediable breakdown of the marriage between Aram and Jo-Ann and the entry of the (divorce judgment) January 4, 1994, was procured by fraud on the court by Aram,'' he added.

Meanwhile, authorities are accusing Jo-Ann of trying to get her divorce voided in an "improper and collusive attempt" to claim a marital tax deduction from her ex-husband's $17.7 million estate.

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